Ashley Hunter Trial: Police Describe Scene of Second Victim
Officers who arrived on scene said they also found burnt items in the kitchen
FARGO, ND — The Ashley Hunter murder trial continues with witness testimonies and pictures of evidence.
But a witness who lived next door to one of the victims had the defense aggressively question her story.
Just after midnight on June 22nd, 2015, Debra Sorensen said she heard smoke alarms next door.
“Through his dining room windows, I could see on the kitchen wall a flickering light the way a fire or flame would flicker,” Sorensen said. “Nobody got up and no lights came on and so I thought something’s not right here.”
Attorneys played a recording of the 911 call in the courtroom.
In the call, Sorensen is head saying, “There’s smoke alarms, they’re going off… It’s just north of me, next door.”
When police got there, they found the body of Samuel Traut.
Officers who arrived on scene said they also found burnt items in the kitchen.
“Some matches scattered throughout the residence, and a hammer in the hallway that appeared to have blood on it,” said the Fargo officer called to the witness stand.
The body of Clarence Flowers was found dead in his apartment earlier that afternoon.
In court, attorneys shared pictures of the bloody shoe prints scattered across the floor of the apartment.
Police say Flowers was stabbed more than 50 times.
Ashley Hunter was arrested and accused of murdering both Traut and Flowers.
“You can’t remember 45 minutes to an hour earlier a fight and an African man walking across and you just found out there’s a dead guy?” asked Ashley Hunter’s attorney Samuel Gereszek. “How is that possible, Deb?”
On the witness stand, Sorensen said she saw an African–American man walk up to the door and heard a loud struggle inside the home before the alarms went off.
When aggressively questioned by the defense, Sorensen admitted she did not tell police about witnessing the man at the door or hearing the struggle the night of the murder.
She said she did not remember until almost a year later.
“Ten months later, after you’ve seen the news and you’ve seen that Mr. Hunter has been charged, that’s when you say, I saw a black male walking across the yard that night,” said Gereszek.
“I don’t believe you’re portraying it accurately,” Sorensen responded. “What I said is I remember things at different times.”
Gereszek asked Sorensen if she has a memory problem: she said no.
Sorensen said she was able to see the man was African–American despite his hooded sweatshirt and the low light.
Hunter’s trial began on Monday.
They expect it will take about two weeks before a decision is made.