Juror Dismissed From Leuthold Trial

Testimony is underway in day three of the Nathan Leuthold trial in Peoria County Court. Leuthold is accused of fatally shooting his wife, Denise, in their Mossville Road house on Valentine's Day last year and staging a break-in to try to cover it up.

A jury member requested to be dismissed from the trial because of a family emergency. That means one of the two alternates is now on the panel of 12.

Dr. Scott Denton, who conducted the autopsy on Denise Leuthold, testifed she was shot in the back of head, and there were no other significant injuries. There was not evidence to suggest the shot came from close range. Denton said minor scrapes on her legs and wrists were not defensive wounds and could have been caused by her falling to the floor.

Paola Hinton, who owns Five Senses Spa and Salon at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, said Nathan Leuthold is a regular customer. Hinton says the Lithuanian student Leuthold is accused of having an affair with, also frequented the spa and that she and Nathan Leuthold showed up together more often. Hinton also testified Nathan Leuthold bought several gift certificates from her business, including one the day of the murder.

Becky Skehan-Passie, who lives near the Leuthold's, says he was at her sister's house on Mossville Road the day of the murder. She testified hearing a gunshot around 12:40 p.m. February 14, 2013. Skehan-Passie said she sent a text at 12:47 p.m. about hearing the shots. Skehan-Passie said she was not inside her sister's house when she heard tghe shot, but was outside taking pictures. Skehan-Passie asked her testimony not be recorded.

Ann Yeagle from the Morton Crime Lab said she tested a black hooded sweatshirt found at the scene for blood. She did not find any but swabbed for DNA.

DNA analyst Debra Minton testified she also examined the sweatshirt. Minton says a major DNA profile of Nathan Leuthold was found. There was also a minor DNA profile was evident. She said whether that minor profile belonged to Aina cannot be ruled out.

Minton also looked at a DNA swab taken from a Ford Focus, Denise Leuthold's car. She said a major profile on the gear shift's was Denise Leuthold's. A minor profile was male, and Nathan Leuthold could not be excluded.

David Lee Smith, who's doing time on drug charges, was with Leuthold in the Peoria County Jail. Smith testified Leuthold would ask him hypothetical legal questions. Smith said he eventually told Leuthold to stop being hypothetical and tell him what happened. Smith said Leuthold described his wife as "overbearing" and said he wanted a change. Smith said Leuthold told him he had words with his wife and shot her in the head. Leuthold said he parked a car at Robinson Park and changed his clothes because he thought a woman had seen him.

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