AZTEC — A Farmington police detective said in court on Tuesday that he found Donovan King with blood on his hands near the murder victim's home, carrying several of the man's possessions.
King, a 24-year-old man from Red Valley, Ariz., is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery and conspiracy in the death of Kevin Lossiah, 40. Lossiah was brutally beaten in his home at 2700 West Apache St., on May 29, 2011, and he died later that night.
In the second day of King's trial, state witnesses testified to finding King and the co-defendant, Justin Mark, 25, near Lossiah's home shortly after starting an investigation into his beating.
When police found King, he had Lossiah's keys, cellphone and a red MP3 player that a prior witness said King tried to sell him earlier that day.
Detective Davin Badoni, the lead investigator in the case, testified to finding a wooden stick with what appeared to be blood and hair on it in a ditch north of Lossiah's home. He also found Lossiah's wallet near the house. Police believe the stick, which was about 30 inches long and several inches in diameter, was one of the weapons King and Mark used in the fatal beating.
Today, prosectors plan to call a DNA expert to discuss the blood evidence that was found in Lossiah's home, on the stick and on King. Prosecutors also said they plan to reveal a recorded conversation King allegedly made from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center where he talks about the killing.
Cosme Ripol, King's attorney, spent much of Tuesday asking critical questions about how police gathered evidence. He suggested that not all of the blood stains in Lossiah's apartment were tested, and police failed to analyze the suspects' footprints at the crime scene and places where the alleged murder weapon and wallet were found.
Ripol has suggested throughout the trial that there was a "homosexual element" to the case. Mark, who was convicted of first-degree murder for Lossiah's death and is serving a life sentence, said at his sentencing hearing in December 2012 that he and King were in a relationship. In court on Tuesday, Farmington police Officer Frank Dart said he learned in the investigation that Lossiah was gay.
During his questioning on Tuesday, Ripol also described Mark as the primary aggressor in the attack.
Ripol said it was Mark who led police to Lossiah's wallet. He said Mark's muddy clothes were consistent with him getting rid of the bloody stick, and he held up the clothes each man was wearing that day and noted that Mark's clothes had more blood on them than King's.
"Isn't it possible that those two blood stains got on (King's) shirt from Justin Mark viciously beating Kevin Lossiah?" he asked.