BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Jurors on Wednesday heard hours of testimony regarding DNA testing of items seized from the California City home where Jacqueline and Trezell West were living when they reported their two youngest adopted sons missing.
In painstaking detail, Kern Regional Crime Lab criminalist Jeehak Kim went over multiple items he tested — blankets, car seats, mattress covers — and the DNA evidence retrieved.
Most items did not test positive for DNA from Orrin, 4, or Orson, 3, who were reported missing Dec. 21, 2020, and are presumed dead. But under cross-examination Kim acknowledged certain items were not tested for DNA as no stains were found on them, not every stain found was tested and it was inconclusive as to whether the boys’ DNA was present on certain items located in a bedroom.
Kim’s testimony came on the 13th day of trial for Trezell and Jacqueline West, who face murder and other charges in the deaths of Orrin and Orson. The boys’ bodies have not been found.
The prosecution alleges the boys died in September 2020 — three months before the Wests reported them missing — while defense counsel has argued authorities failed to properly investigate other potential suspects and keep accurate records.
The Wests have said the boys disappeared while playing outside after Trezell West, who was gathering firewood, briefly went indoors.
The trial will resume Monday morning. Judge Charles R. Brehmer said they’re ahead of schedule and the jury could receive the case around May 17, instead of the original projection of late May.
The Wests have four other children — two biological, two adopted. They’re expected to testify next week.
Click here to read live tweets of Wednesday’s testimony.
Also Wednesday, Kern County District Attorney’s office investigator Darren Wonderly testified to call detail records he obtained for the Wests, as well as Ryan Dean, the boys’ biological mother.
The records for the Wests show frequent usage of cell towers in California City beginning Sept. 11, 2020. Numbers associated with Jacqueline and Trezell West went back and forth from Bakersfield to California City from that date to Sept. 20, 2020, according to Wonderly’s testimony.
Prosecutor Eric Smith has said both boys died that month. The Wests moved from an apartment in Bakersfield to a house in California City.
A number associated with Dean didn’t use a cell tower in California City until Dec. 23, 2020, two days after the reported disappearance, Wonderly said the records showed. Dean has testified she went to the Wests’ home on that date to question them.