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Darrol Sands' wife testifies in his murder trial

Lori Sands said her husband went to Carol Brown's house twice the day before the murder

February 21, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Carol Marie Brown
File photo

The wife of accused killer Darrol Sands testified Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court that her husband went to Carol Brown’s house twice the day before the 2008 murder and again on the day Brown’s body was discovered in her bathtub,

Lori Sands testified that her husband had gone to Brown’s Mitchell Avenue home on the afternoon and evening of April 18, 2008. She testified her husband also went over to Brown’s house on Saturday, April 19.

“He mentioned something about a lawnmower,” Lori Sands testified. He was gone “no more than 10 or 15 minutes,” but did not return with a mower, she testified.

Darrol Sands, 44, is charged with first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Brown, a 22-year-old mother of two. Brown was strangled, stabbed repeatedly and found in the bathtub.

The trial ended its fifth day Tuesday with Lori Sands still on the stand testifying for the defense.

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Lori Sands also testified about seeing a suspicious black car drive along Mitchell Avenue several times a day about two weeks before Brown’s death. She also testified to seeing a man walk behind Brown’s home on five or six occasions during the same time period.

In his opening statement last week, attorney James Podlas said Darrol Sands did have sex with Brown the day before her murder. Forensic experts testified for the prosecution last week that Sands’ semen was found in Brown’s body and his DNA on her bed sheet.

Sands’ palm print was found on the bathtub, where Brown’s body was, a state fingerprint expert testified last week.

Brown’s home was raided by the Washington County Narcotics Task Force in March 2008. Lori Sands testified Brown told her another woman who had lived in the house at the time of the raid had threatened her about talking to police.

On April 19, Darrol Sands spent much of the day preparing for and hosting a birthday party for her son attended by about 15 people, Lori Sands testified. She also testified she went to the store twice that day before and during the party.

When Brown’s mother, Marcella Maphis, came running from the house after finding her daughter’s body, Lori Sands testified her husband and another man went into the house and into the bathroom to see what happened.

Another neighbor, Jolinda Shatzer, testified she saw Brown that morning arguing with a man.

The trial enters its sixth day today. If convicted of first-degree murder, Sands faces life in prison.

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