EDNA – Prosecutors stretched a blue fitted sheet with bloodstains across an air mattress Monday during the murder trial of Amber Sorensen.
Attorneys with the Jackson County district attorney’s office tried to cast doubt on Sorensen’s claim that she shot her boyfriend in self-defense and analyzed every piece of physical evidence from the February 2017 shooting, including the sheet from the master bedroom where the shooting occurred.
Sorensen, 37, is charged with murder, aggravated assault of a family member with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury and manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Jarrett Parker, her boyfriend. Sorensen is claiming self-defense and told police Parker was physically abusive to her during their relationship.
Investigator Kent Bubela of the Edna Police Department answered questions about the various pieces of evidence he helped to process from the Edna home where Sorensen and Parker lived at the time of the shooting. Assistant District Attorney Tom Dillard steered Bubela’s testimony through the fitted sheet from the bedroom, fragments of the bullet that pierced Parker’s chest, Sorensen’s and Parker’s iPhones and photos of evidence from the night of the shooting.
Bubela had planned to interview Sorensen several days after the shooting but ended up observing the proceedings after Edna Police Chief Clinton Wooldridge stepped in to lead the interview.
“Would you have conducted the interview differently?” Dillard asked Bubela.
“Yes, sir,” the investigator replied. He later explained that he “would have confronted her more with stuff that didn’t match the prior statements.”
Bubela also answered questions about photos he took of Sorensen after the shooting, which showed bruises that she said had been inflicted by Parker.
“Do we see evidence of the type of assault that the defendant described?” Dillard asked.
“We see bruised arms,” Bubela responded. “She described other injuries, but she did mention that she was thrown down.”
Bubela said he took photos of Sorensen’s hair as well as clippings from her hair after she told him paint was left there by Parker, who she said had paint on his hand when he assaulted her.
Before Bubela testified, prosecutors quizzed five forensic experts who processed and analyzed evidence from the scene. The experts also testified about hair fragments taken from Sorensen’s head and paint that was on her hair.
Devon Stasicha, a forensic scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said she could confirm that it was, in fact, white paint on Sorensen’s hair but that her analysis did not allow her to definitely conclude that the paint in her hair came from the same can of paint found in the couple’s Edna home.
The court recessed at 5 p.m. and will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday, when Dillard is expected to continue questioning Bubela.
Stephen Cihal, who is representing Sorensen, asked occasional clarifying questions Monday of the forensic experts who analyzed the evidence for skin cells and DNA profiles. Cihal has not yet questioned Bubela.