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Day four of Olson murder trial brings evidence, more testimony
The cold case murder trial of John Oldson. Evidence found at the scene of Catherine Beard's remains was taped up and put away for decades.
Thursday it was opened back up in the trial of the man accused of
killing the Ord woman.
It was a chilly day in Howard County as the cold case murder trial continued for John Oldson. He's the man being charged with first degree murder in the death of Catherine Beard. We heard more testimony and saw evidence gathered from the case.
There's a twist. Two watches found near Cathy's remains. The first, a black digital watch. It's small and appears to be a woman's. Second, an analog watch with a black band found along a county road farther away which Charlene Whitefoot confirmed was her close friend Cathy's.
Former investigator Karschner with the Nebraska State Patrol searched the area where part of Cathy's skull was found southeast of Ord. Eventually, he finds bones, jewelry, and articles of clothing - of those, a white sweater with pink and blue stripes which is what Cathy was last seen wearing.
Roger McCartney testified in a video interview - he's the man that hired Oldson's father to do brickwork on his garage and home. Previously, the defense said when Oldson left the tavern that night he went home and soon after took a phone call from his boss which would be McCartney. McCartney says he does call the home and speaks to John around 6:30 or 7:00 pm. But this is where it gets tricky. In McCartney's first report, he says he called the night of Cathy's disappearance, May 31st, 1989, which the defense said should be more accurate.
But later on McCartney says it may not have been that night.
A forensic DNA analyst says that testing DNA in cold cases can be difficult because many officers that touch items without their gloves on not knowing about testing at that time. But the defense adds it's been done successfully for other cold case. Also, if people bath or wash their clothes it gets rid of the DNA evidence. The evidence wasn't tested for years after Cathy's disappearance.
Oldson's defense said earlier this week that no DNA had linked Oldson to Cathy's murder.
Oldson is being held in Valley County during the trial. You may remember the trial was moved from Valley County to Howard County because of pre-trial publicity.
Eugene Bower also testified Thursday. He had a romantic relationship with Cathy that ended about a month before her disappearance.
He says there was no animosity between the two and he had nothing to do with her disappearance.
We will continue our coverage of the Oldson trial Friday here on News 5.
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