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STATE LAB SAYS DRIED HUMAN BLOOD WAS ALL OVER ARCHULETA’S CLOTHES

SHARE STATE LAB SAYS DRIED HUMAN BLOOD WAS ALL OVER ARCHULETA’S CLOTHES

Dried human blood was found all over Michael Anthony Archuleta's clothes the day after Gordon Ray Church was murdered, state criminologists testified Friday in the defendant's capital-homicide trial.

Investigators were unable to type dried blood samples taken from Archuleta's boots and leather jacket, but bloodstains found on the defendant's shirt and pants were determined to be consistent with that of the victim, said Pilar Shortsleeve, a serologist with the state crime lab.Testimony Friday indicated that Church was beaten to death with a tire jack taken from his white Ford Thunderbird. Investigators found what they believe to be the victim's blood on the jack's leg, ratchet and tire iron.

Archuleta, 27, is one of two men charged in the Nov. 22, 1988, torture slaying of Church, whose body was found a day later north of Cove Fort in an area known as Dog Valley. Co-defendant Lance Conway Wood will be tried for the murder Feb. 20.

Testimony in Archuleta's trial will resume Monday before 4th District Judge George E. Ballif.

Shortsleeve and former crime lab criminologist Martha Kerr said human blood consistent with Church's blood type was found on Wood's pants and on Archuleta's pants. Investigators found Archuleta's pants stashed in a Murray drainage ditch Nov. 23, 1988.

Kerr testified that more evidence of blood was found on Archuleta's pants than on Wood's pants, even though Archuleta's pants had been submerged for a day in the drainage ditch. Tests revealed bloodstains on the back and all over the front of Archuleta's pants.

Human blood also was found on Archuleta's boots and on Wood's shoes and shirt. The victim's wristwatch, which witnesses earlier testified had been left in Salem by Archuleta following the murder, also had human blood on it.

Kerr testified that blood and hair consistent with the victim's type were found on the jack. She said human blood and hair also were found on the jack's ratchet, primarily in an area that had been bent in. Blood was found on the tire iron as well.

Kerr and Shortsleeve identified as human the blood-covered bone fragments found within a large blood-stained area on a dirt frontage road about half a mile from I-15. Church's body, nude from the waist down, was found nearby covered with dirt and tree limbs.

Witnesses also testified that they found human blood on a cord and on battery jumper-cable clamps recovered at the murder scene.

Criminologist Robert Brinkman of the state crime lab said human hair wrapped around the shoestrings of Wood's shoes matched Church's hair. "It's possible they (the hairs) belong to someone else, but they appear to be Church's," he said.