In the Molin Case, Everybody Rests!
SNOW HILL, Md - A Worcester County accident reconstruction expert testified this morning that if Emily Molin had fallen out of her son's truck on the night of her death, Steve Molin would have had to have backed up at least 80 feet to run over her.
That and a number of other factors led Lt. Edward Schreier to conclude that Molin's story, of his mother falling out of his truck and his accidentally backing over her to be not credible.
Based on the speed Molin told police he was going that night - about 40 m.p.h. - Schreier calculated, that Mrs. Molin's body would have ended up some 30 yards behind where Molin would have stopped his truck.
Nevertheless over the course of a 10 hours of being questioned by county and state police, Steve Molin never wavered from his story that his 85-year-old mother fell out of his truck and he accidentally ran over her on a dark country road just before midnight on Aug. 31 of last year.
He is charged with first degree murder and related other offenses.
Both the prosecution and the defense had rested their cases late yesterday with Molin never taking the witness stand
The jury did however hear a tape of Molin being interviewed by investigators the morning after his mother was killed.
On the tape, despite sustained efforts by police to get Molin to admit he intentionally ran over his mother, he steadfastly maintained that what happened was an accident.
"You know you did it," one detective tells him on the tape.
"It was an accident...," Molin replies. "I'm trying to be very honest."
Another detective summed up the opinion of the entire investigative team, when he said to Molin on tape, "I just don't believe your story."
Earlier in the day, Lt. Scheier pointed out that at the speed Molin told him he was going, said it would have taken him at least 100 feet to stop after noticing his mother was gone from the cab of his work truck.
Schreier testified that he combed distance between the spot where Molin's truck was discovered that night, looking for any evidence that his mother fell and skidded down the road but found none.
"I don't believe Mrs. Molin fell out of that vehicle," Schreier told the jury. "My conclusion was Mrs. Molin was standing behind the vehicle and was backed over."
Assistant Medical Examiner Laron Locke also said that the victim's injuries were not consistent with someone who had fallen from a vehicle. He said he would have expected "longer abrasions" and "scraping" on the body which he referred to as "road rash," but he didn't see any.
When graphic autopsy photos were introduced into evidence, a disheveled Molin abruptly turned his chair around and sat with his back to the jury and where the photos where being shown. Throughout the ME's testimony about his mother's terrible injuries, Molin held his head in his hands.
Also testifying for the prosecution was Carol Hershey, Emily Molin's court-appointed guardian, after the county applied for and served an emergency petition to have her placed in a Media nursing home in 2009.
Hershey described Steve Molin as uncooperative and often angry after a county court judge awarded legal custody of Mrs. Molin to her firm Guardian Services of Pa.
"He was upset and angry about it and towards me," she said. "He repeatedly said we were going to take everything from him."
Her attempts to reassure him, she said, were fruitless.
On the night he took his mother from the Sterling nursing home in Media down to Maryland, a nurse testified Monday that Molin told her that he wanted to "kill" Ms. Hershey.
Hershey testified that she called the Media Police and reported the threat.
Later that night when Molin still hadn't returned with his mother to the nursing home, Hershey said she attempted to reach Molin herself but didn't hear from him until after Mrs. Molin was fatally injured.
The prosecution's last witness was a jail house snitch named Nicholas Walter. He had just started a 6-month jail sentence for pot possession when he met Molin in a holding cell. He claimed Molin told him that on the night in question he wanted his mother to "do something" but she wouldn't do it.
"He said he was mad at her and she had to go," Walter testified. "It kind of freaked me out."
At that point, Molin yelled out, "I don't even know this guy."
His lawyer told him to be hush up.
Walter went on to say he came forward because he couldn't "sleep, eat," or "sit still."
"It kind of ate at my own conscience," he claimed.
When defense attorney Burton Anderson suggested that Walter was looking to ingratiate himself with authorities just in case he ever got busted again, he replied "Absolutely not."
After the prosecution rested, Anderson put on a stream of character witnesses, mostly people from Delaware County, who have known Molin for years.
They included former Darby Borough District Magistrate Tom Lacey, who said he's known Steve and Emily Molin for 32 years.
He described their relationship as "very close and very loving," and described Steve as "child-like" and honest, "almost to the point of an inability to fabricate."
Others described Molin as being "loving, kind, thoughtful, tender, reliable, considerate," and with a reputation for honesty that was "absolutely impeccable."
Closing arguments begin this morning and then the case will go to the jury. A verdict could come as early as this afternoon.