BULLETIN.jpg

During Day One of the Leonard "Lenny" Joeris murder trial, prosecutor Craig Jacobson said it was jealousy and fear of losing his daughter, with whom he was extremely close, that pushed Joeris over the edge, causing him to shoot his wife in their front yard last year.

Jacobson told the jury that later this week an autopsy report would prove that the gun was less than 18 inches from Lorrie Joeris when it was fired.

In the days after the incident, Jacobson said Leonard gave varying accounts of what happened the evening of Feb. 21, 2010 when Lorrie was shot, to six different individuals.

Witnesses to those accounts took the stand Monday.

Corporal Mike Vickers of the Jasper Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigator Karen Williams, investigator David Ehlert, and Lorrie's cousin Nora Horne gave their accounts of what Leonard Joeris told them of the events leading up to Lorrie's death. Each account varied as far as where Leonard Joeris was located at the time he heard the gun go off.

Vickers testified that Leonard told him at the scene that he was standing beside Lorrie, with his back to her, when he heard the gun go off, then turned to find her shot in the head and lying on the ground. Also at the scene, he told Williams that he was a few yards in front of her when he heard the gunshot and turned around.

Williams told jurors that Leonard Joeris did not tear up when talking about his wife's shooting. Defense attorney Baya Harrison read from a report she wrote last year and her deposition in which she said she saw Joeris tear up and appear "pretty upset" when talking about raising his children alone.

"You want him to look guilty," Harrison said to Williams.

In his testimony, investigator Ehlert said Joeris told him that he was at least 5 to 10 yards in front of Lorrie when he heard the shot. Further varying his story, Horne said that when she drove Leonard and his children to a Gainesville hospital after the incident, he told her that he was inside the house when he heard the gunshot.

The defense attempted to discredit Horne's testimony by stating that she did not have her hearing aids in at the time.

Witnesses said that Joeris did not shed tears at the scene, though Godwin stated that Leonard was "upset" and "screaming" at him to continue chest compressions on Lorrie at the scene.

The defense said Leonard Joeris will later testify, admitting that he did relate differing accounts of what happened that evening.

Two of Joeris's co-workers at Valdosta State Correctional Facility, where he worked as a registered nurse in the mental health unit, testified Monday afternoon, along with crime lab analysts with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Mental Health Unit director at Valdosta State Prison Lisa Shoe and LPN Sherie Keller, who worked in the mental health unit at the time, both testified that Leonard Joeris would often come to work with bite marks and bruises from fighting with Lorrie. Furthermore, they describe Leonard's relationship with his daughter Elizabeth as "non-traditional" and "odd."

"He was very much consumed with Lizzie. He adored Lizzie," said Shoe. "Everything was Lizzie. Lizzie was his world."

Keller and Shoe said that Leonard would talk to his daughter on the phone all the time at work. His co-workers said that he would stay up talking to her late at night after he got home from work around 11p.m.

"For a child of her age to call her dad that often was odd," said Keller.

Shoe testified that Leonard was afraid he would lose his close relationship with Elizabeth if his marriage failed.

Lastly, FDLE crime lab analysts testified that no finger prints were found on the gun. However, a DNA expert said a mixture of DNA was found on the gun of which Joeris was "a possible contributor."

Court was scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you