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Tajh Ross Trial: Day 4

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- On day four of the Tajh Ross trial, forensics experts from the Cedar Rapids Police Department took the stand to address the evidence found after the shooting death of Latasha Roundtree.

The 19-year old was killed while riding to a Cedar Rapids party in 2012, and her accused killer is on trial for his life.

Investigators John McDaniel and Martin Eganhouse told the court about the evidence gathering they did the night of the shooting - and the days following it

They took extensive pictures of the crime scene, all the shell casings, and the car Latasha was in. In that car, on the side Latasha was sitting on, investigators found Swisher Sweets, a type of cigarillo.

The defense latched on to that, asking investigators if they are aware that cigarillos are used to make marijuana blunts. The investigators said yes.
The defense also asked if any drugs or weapons were found in the car. Investigators responded no.

They also took pictures of Roundtree just as doctors worked to save her life at UIHC. After analyzing the evidence, they were able to recreate the scene that night. They came to several conclusions - most notably that the bullet that killed Roundtree came from the 40 caliber gun allegedly gun recovered from the scene.

They were also able to analyze that audio recording of the gunshots heard earlier this week.

"We were able to definitively match up that the first initial loud boom was also probably made from the 40 caliber and was the shot that struck Ms. Roundtree," says Investigator Martin Eganhouse.

"We heard the additional 6 forty caliber rounds that were located down the alley. The spent carriages we found were consistent with the sound we heard in the audio."

They also did DNA analysis on gun allegedly used to kill Latasha, swabbing it for any trace of skin cells.

Previous witnesses have testified and said that there was a physical struggle for that gun when it was initially brought out that night. That struggle was between Ross and co-defendant Yasin Muhidin.    
They say that it's extremely rare to find skin cells left over on a gun, even after someone fires it numerous times. However, this time around was different.

"In five years, I've swabbed a number of firearms during my time at the cedar rapids police department, this is the first time I've ever gotten a profile that was identifiable" Eganhouse says.

"Whose DNA did you find on the firearm?" asked prosecutor Nick Maybanks.

"The profile that was developed in this case was Yasin Muhdin," Eganhouse responded.

Next week, the three remaining co-defendants and the medical examiner are set to testify. We'll be in the courtroom as well.
Follow us on twitter all next week at or for updates directly from the courtroom.
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