Facebook Twitter



Detective Robert Shober stood inside the room where Margaret Kastanis and her two daughters lay dead and yelled at the top of his lungs.

Outside, a fellow West Jordan police officer stood in an unattached garage, where Sam Kastanis told police he had been working when his children and wife were killed."I was screaming as loud as I could scream," Shober testified Thursday.

But the officer in the workshop heard nothing.

The officer, however, could hear Shober's screams when he yelled from the kitchen and from the bathroom, where 9-year-old Clinton was found beaten and stabbed to death. Shober's screams from the living room and a downstairs washroom were audible but faint.

The procedure was conducted to test Kastanis' story that he was in the workshop the morning of Nov. 17, 1991, drinking coffee and toying with figures related to the purchase of a new home. He said he never heard any sounds coming from inside his house, where he later found his bludgeoned family.

Shober, the lead investigator, testified all day Thursday about dozens of pieces of evidence gathered at the West Jordan home and the tests that were conducted. He laboriously explained the collection process, ensuring jurors the evidence was safeguarded and handled properly.

But defense attorney Ron Yengich continued his efforts to punch holes into the prosecution's theory, implying that much of the evidence was mishandled and ignored. He also accused Shober of looking at no theory other than Kastanis as the killer.

Yengich asked if the detective had noticed any scrapes, wounds or bruises on Kastanis' body that are often indicative of someone being involved in a fight. Shober said Kastanis had none.

But Shober later told prosecutor Kent Morgan it is possible for someone to severely injure another person and not be injured themselves.

Yengich also queried Shober about a mysterious vile containing a piece of skin that was included in the evidence. Shober said he saw the vile for the first time sometime "within the last year" but doesn't know where it came from or whose skin it is.

Shober also said clothing from the victims alone led him to a "common sense conclusion" that Margaret Kastanis was one of four victims and not the perpetrator, as the defense says, because her clothing was blood-stained similarly as was the clothing of the three children.

Shober later admitted to Yengich, however, that her bloodied shirt alone could not exclude her as the perpetrator.

Testimony in the quadruple capital murder trial was scheduled to resume Friday afternoon. The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.