Evidence detailed in Day 5 of murder trial

MINDEN -- A firearms expert was unable to say Monday if a bloodied bag of bullets found in the Chorkey bathroom and various spent and unspent shells that littered the home were the same as those found in the glove box of Christopher Fiegehen's Ford Mustang.

"Basically, the bullets are of the same physical shape and variety," testified Edward Kevin Lattyak, a firearms and toolmark expert for the Washoe County Crime Lab. "I can't tell you they are exactly the same. They all appear similar."

Lattyak's testimony came in the fifth day of the murder trial in which Fiegehen, 24, of Carson City is charged with the Feb. 10, 2002, stabbing death of Al Chorkey and shooting of his wife, Lorelle, in their Johnson Lane-area home. Fiegehen was the estranged boyfriend of Lorelle Chorkey's daughter, Alane Dockstader, 19.

The couple had argued the evening before the killing, according to Dockstader.

Dave Billau, a Washoe County criminalist, testified he recovered 12 bullets and bullet casings from the Chorkey home, but was unable to find fingerprints on them or on other bullets found in Fiegehen's Mustang.

There were also no "identifiable prints" found in the Chorkey home, he said, "Not even from the Chorkeys."

Defense attorney Richard Young asked Billau about the preservation of evidence when he questioned him on whether Fiegehen's Carson City home had been broken into sometime between Feb.10, when investigators first went there, and Feb. 11, when they returned.

"There was a possible break-in on the laundry door," Billau said. "We thought the interior of the residence appeared to have been gone through."

Billau added that he concluded a cat found in the home was responsible for the disarray.

Richard Berger, a Washoe County criminalist, testified he took 14 swabs of suspected blood from the interior of the Mustang. Six came up positive in a presumptive test for blood, he said. He also retained a cutting from the sweatband of a hat found under Chorkey's body for DNA testing. Dockstader testified that she gave Fiegehen the hat as a gift.

Berger said at Fiegehen's Ramsey Circle home he took photographs of the kitchen sink and took four swabs to test for blood. The results of the blood and DNA tests were not revealed Monday.

Berger said he took as evidence hairs found in the hat and on the Harley-Davidson knife found next to Chorkey's body, but they were never tested.

Young revisited the question of a break-in at Fiegehen's home.

"Does that pose the risk of damage in the integrity of a crime scene?" Young asked.

"Potentially it can, yes," Berger said.

Lisa Harris, an investigator with Washoe County, testified she assisted in the search of Fieghen's bedroom and recovered a knife sheath with a Harley-Davidson logo on it.

Another investigator recovered a box in which the knife was allegedly purchased.

On cross-examination by Young, Harris admitted she'd never tried to put the knife found at the scene into the sheath found in Fiegehen's bedroom.

When Young asked her to try to put the sheath into the box, Harris was unable to.

Testimony is set to resume Wednesday morning.


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