Trial focuses on blood, cellphone

Azalia Wilson. Photo: Supplied
Azalia Wilson. Photo: Supplied
Blood and DNA likely to be from the man who murdered Azalia Wilson were found on the car of his mother, who is on trial accused of discarding possible evidence against her son, a court has heard.

DNA matching the profile of Ms Wilson’s was also found on a man’s shoe and socks which were in the boot of Patricia Elizabeth Samson’s car.

ESR forensic scientist Gary Gillespie gave evidence yesterday on the third day of Samson’s trial in the High Court at Invercargill on a charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice, which she denies.

The Crown says Samson (53) discarded items into the Oreti River which would tie her son, Samuel Samson, to the murder of Ms Wilson at the Bavarian Motel on November 17, 2019.

Mr Gillespie told the jury bloodstains were observed on the inside and outside of the vehicle, as well on items found in its boot.

A swab collected from the exterior of the driver’s side window matched the DNA profile of Samuel Samson, while the inside bloodstains were unsuitable for comparison, he said.

He also said bloodstains which had Ms Wilson’s DNA were found on a sock and shoe in the boot of Samson’s car.

In cross-examination, counsel David Slater asked Mr Gillespie if the bloodstains in the car could be from a bloodstain transfer.

Such transfers happen when a wet, bloody surface comes in contact with a secondary surface.

"That is correct. A bloodstained person, with blood in their clothing ... could cause that transfer of blood,’’ Mr Gillespie said.

Detective Constable Jordan Edwards presented RAM (random access memory) data from three mobile phones, belonging to Patricia Samson, Ms Wilson and another son of the defendant, Daniel Samson.

The first data collected from Samson’s phone showed the device at 2.43am on November 17 near her house, then at 3.07am it was located near the Bavarian Motel area.

Several other RAM events were recorded from this device, including voice calls at 3.47am — originating near the intersection of West Plains and Steel Rds — and 4.03am in a city centre area which covers the roundabout at Tweed and Clyde Sts.

Crown prosecutor Riki Donnelly asked if those areas led to Fosbender Park and the Oreti River.

Det Const Edwards said they did.

Mr Slater asked about a text message sent by Samson to Samuel Samson early in the afternoon of November 17.

He read the text to court.

"Sam, what time are you guys picking up [the] baby? Just need to know so I can organise my day ... And what is that s... that the cops coming over? Kids said cops said they got a vid[eo] of you doing a serious assault? What the heck ..."

Mr Slater put to Det Const Edwards the message was sent at 12.22pm on November 17, while Ms Wilson’s body was found 11.05pm that day.

Det Const Edwards replied he did not know the specific time.

The trial continues today.




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