Today is day three in the trial of Morris Brickle-Hicks. He is accused of murdering 40-year-old Misty Coffelt in April of last year. Her body was found behind Runnings in South Bismarck.
Today the prosecution concluded their case, but not before talking extensively about Coffelt’s DNA found on the defendant and the cause of her death. A state crime lab employee said after examination, he found Coffelt’s DNA on both Brickle-Hicks’s pants and shoe.
It was then the state medical examiner’s turn to take the stand. He thoroughly went through every single bruise and cut found on Coffelt’s body and explaining how they possibly could have happened, saying bruises on her head and face had ridges on them consistent with either a shoe or piece of wood. The defense then brought up the fact that both amphetamine and methamphetamine were present in Coffelt’s system, and then asked if that played a part in her death.
State medical examiner Dr. William Massello answered, “The injuries she had would have been a lethal one even without the drugs. So, you know, you’d have to say no. Now, were the chances of surviving longer better without the drugs? Yes.”
In the end, he said Cofflelt’s cause of death was multiple blunt impacts to her head and face. And that’s where it ended for the day. The defense had no comment regarding the conclusion of the prosecution’s case and they will start up their defense tomorrow morning. The trial is expected to wrap up on Friday.