Family of Blake Snyder cries, hugs as autopsy photos are shown during trial

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

CLAYTON, Mo. - It's day two in the trial of Trenton Forster, the man accused of killing St. Louis County police Office Blake Snyder in October 2016.

Tuesday served as a more graphic day of testimony in the courtroom, as crime scene analysts and police detectives took the stand.

Detective Clay Peeler took the stand first. He was dispatched on behalf of the coroner's office to take photos of the crime scene.

Peeler discussed the photos, which were not shown in the courtroom. Peeler searched Forster's vehicle -- a 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo. Bullet holes were observed in the vehicle and the windshield and side window were shattered.

A bong was discovered in Forster's trunk as well as a .22 caliber long-gun made to look like an AK-47. Investigators also found a magazine for a 9mm pistol containing nine rounds, as well as a backpack with clothes inside it.

A member of the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office, Dr. Jamal Walker, testified next. Photos from Officer Snyder's autopsy were shown in the courtroom. Members of Snyder's family cried and hugged one another as Dr. Walker explained how a bullet fired from Forster's gun killed the officer.

Walker said Forster fired at least one shot, which struck Officer Snyder in the chin, shattering his jaw. The bullet ricocheted downward and struck his carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain. The doctor testified there was no surviving that type of wound.

The bullet became lodged in Officer Snyder's back and was retrieved for evidence during the autopsy, Walker said.

Forster, who spent most of the time looking down at the table during testimony, did look up at one autopsy photo.

Steve Kramer, a firearms examiner with the St. Louis County Crime Lab, provided the final testimony of the morning. He provided detailed testimony on bullets, casings, and fragments recovered at the crime scene.

Data pix.

The trial began Monday morning with the prosecutors' and defense's opening statements to a jury of six men and six women. Almost immediately, the line was drawn as there are a few things in this case that both sides agree on.

They agreed Forster killed Officer Snyder. Both sides also agreed on Forster's drug use and his alarming behavior in obtaining guns.

However, the defense said the jury should find him guilty of second-degree murder and not first-degree murder. His public defender, Stephen Reynolds, pointed to his troubled childhood, with heavy drinking as early as sixth or seventh grade, and anxiety over the years.

The day before the shooting, a friend of Forster's shot cellphone videos of him while he was impaired and falling down. When videos of him impaired played in court, Forster slid far down into his seat. Meanwhile, Officer Snyder's widow, Elizabeth Snyder, looked on closely.

Elizabeth Snyder was the first person called to the stand on Monday. She testified briefly about her marriage to Officer Snyder and detailed how she had found out what happened to her husband on the morning of his murder.

This is a developing story. Tune in at 5pm to see our latest report from Jasmine Huda.  Grab our app for alerts: Android - Apple

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.