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Hosier murder trial resumes this morning

Prosecution calls 14 witnesses on first day

Attorney Donald Catlett, left, confers with client David Hosier prior to the start of Monday’s double-murder trial in which Hosier is accused of the 2009 killings of Rodney and Angela Gilpin.

Attorney Donald Catlett, left, confers with client David Hosier prior to the start of Monday’s double-murder trial in which Hosier is accused of the 2009 killings of Rodney and Angela Gilpin. Photo by Julie Smith.

Fifteen St. Charles County residents will return to Cole County’s main courtroom this morning, to hear a second day of evidence in David Hosier’s double-murder trial that began Monday.

Hosier, now 58, is charged with the Sept. 28, 2009, murders of Angela Gilpin, 45, and her husband, Rodney Gilpin, 61, at her apartment in the 1100 block of West High Street.

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson told the jury Monday that the state’s evidence would show clearly that Hosier murdered the couple because he was upset Angie was leaving Hosier and reconciling with her husband.

Richardson then spent much of the day presenting that evidence through the testimony of 14 witnesses, including neighbors, apartment owner Dennis Prenger and law officers.

In his opening statement, Richardson said both victims had been shot several times. Highway Patrol crime lab tests show that shell casings found at the murder scene came from a weapon found in Hosier’s car after he was arrested in Oklahoma about six hours after the murders.

“He intended to murder Angela and Rodney Gilpin,” Richardson said, “and we will ask you for guilty verdicts.”

But Public Defender Donald Catlett told the jury in his opening statement that “no credible physical evidence” connects Hosier with the killings.

Acknowledging that Hosier was unhappy with Angie Gilpin, Catlett told jurors everything they will hear this week about the murders “is theories, conjecture and assumption.”

Catlett noted there were “no witnesses to what happened in that hallway,” and advised the jury to “listen to the ballistics evidence very closely,” because much of it really is subjective opinion, not statistical fact.

After Gilpins had been separated for several months, Angela and Hosier had developed a relationship that, neighbor Jodene Scott testified, Hosier said was “an affair.”

Several witnesses agreed with Catlett that Hosier and Angie appeared to be “a good dating couple” who “loved each other.” But as Angie began reconciling with Rodney Gilpin, witnesses described “a lot of drama” in the back-and-forth relationships.

Neighbor Geralyn Bleckler said Hosier was upset with her because Bleckler had not convinced Angie to get back with Hosier.

“He said he was in love with her and always will be,” Bleckler testified. “He thought he was better for her than Rodney.”

She said Hosier also told her, “He would put a stop to it, somehow.”

Bleckler spent the afternoon of Sept. 27 watching a Chiefs game on television with Rodney and Angie.

After police told her the next morning the couple had been murdered, she found several messages Hosier had left on her answering machine, laced with profanity.

Scott testified Hosier told her in a 9:49 p.m. telephone call that Sunday night that he was “going to leave something on my car (including) keys and instructions — in case anything happened to him.”

The Gilpins’ bodies were found lying in the doorway to her apartment about 51⁄2 hours later.

A couple of neighbors testified hearing noises that sounded like gunshots, in the middle of the night, but neither saw anyone nor heard any kind of argument.

Neighbor Jennifer Stubbs testified she discovered the murders as she was getting home about 3:20 a.m. from a trip to St. Louis — and called 911 as soon as she saw Angela’s legs extending from her apartment doorway into the common hallway.

Lee Tubbesing, a now retired Jefferson City police detective who helped process the crime scene four years ago, explained more than 40 photos shown to the jurors Monday afternoon — including pictures of the victims’ bodies lying in the doorway, and nine shell casings found nearby.

Jurors were shown the section of wallboard where four bullets landed, and the door to Angie’s apartment that had been hit three times.

The trial is scheduled to run through next week, although attorneys indicate it likely won’t take that long.

If the jury convicts Hosier on either of the murder charges, Richardson is seeking the death penalty.

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