Three teens went on trial this morning for the murder of an 81-year old east Bakersfield woman more than 2 and a half years ago. Dorothy Session liked to tend to her garden and spend time with family. Her grandson found her bloodied and so badly beaten she suffered irreparable brain damage that led her family to unplug her from life support systems in the hospital.
The photo of Dorothy Session's bloodied face, splashed on a screen before the jury, is so graphic we can't even show it on television. Defendants Katila and Angelique Nash shielded their faces as the prosecutor's description appeared to move them to tears.
A.J. Masengale testified today he was the first to find his grandmother beaten and bloodied on the dining room floor that April evening in 2010.
Masengale described the scene when he found his grandmother. "Did you fall, and what happened? She said no. I said, well what happened? She said a black man and a black woman. A black man and a black woman? Uh huh. And I said did they hit you? She sighed yes, and that was about it."
Masengale paused often, choking back emotion.
When was asked how seeing his grandmother like that has affected him, he replied, "Dramatically. I attend therapy three days a week."
Other crime scene photos taken at session's house point to a struggle. session's reading glasses lay strewn on the kitchen rug, her left shoe sat in the middle of the den, blood stains marred the carpet and smeared the furniture, and detectives say they found what appeared to be session's teeth in two different places.
A cigarette found on the kitchen floor was analyzed for DNA. Prosecutor David Wilson said, "the chances of it being someone other than his DNA, it ranges from 340 billion to 7.2 trillion."
Katila and her sister Angelique Nash are charged with first degree murder alongside David Moses in Session's death. The Nash sisters face life without the possibility of parole. Moses faces 25 to life.
Defense attorney Fred Gagliardini contends Angelique wasn't inside during the beating. "[She] went inside momentarily, to try to get her sister. She wasn't going to leave without her sister," said Gagliardini.
Katila Nash's attorney says he will put a psychologist on the stand who will testify his client was put into foster care at age 10 and suffers from ADHD, depression, and compulsive behavior. Prosecutor David Wilson says the trio intended to rob someone when they came across Session's home.
The DA says Moses pummeled Session, later telling detectives he thought Session had a Life Alert necklace and he didn't want Session to push the button. The prosecutor also told the jury Moses told detectives he was high on PCP at the time and couldn't remember much of what happened.
Nothing of value appeared to be taken from the home where Session once tended to her garden and slept in a room she shared with her late husband. This first degree murder trial is expected to last several weeks.