TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD Information 13) – The trial of accused Tucson youngster killer 40-year-old Christopher Clements continued Wednesday, Sept. 21, with extra testimony.
Thus far, the state has referred to as 20 witnesses to the stand. Prosecutors are anticipated to relaxation their case on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Clements is dealing with a number of expenses for allegedly kidnapping and killing 6-year-old Isabel Celis in 2012 and 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez in 2014.
The present trial is for Maribel’s dying, whereas Clements will face a jury for Isabel’s dying subsequent yr.
The trial began two weeks in the past with jury picks however kicked into excessive gear final week with opening statements and witness testimony. Hyperlinks to our earlier tales are beneath.
WEEK TWO: WEDNESDAY TESTIMONY
On Wednesday, Maribel’s mom Valerie Calonge was absent from the courtroom. It’s the primary day Calonge didn’t attend the trial. She has testified and has been visibly upset by crime scene photographs proven in courtroom. Maribel’s grandmother and father have been in courtroom once more, together with different family members and sufferer advocates.
Wednesday morning, the state referred to as its sixteenth witness to the stand. Marie Yocum is a latent print examiner for Pima County Sheriff’s Division (PCSD). Yocum estimates she has in contrast over 1,600 fingerprint impressions throughout her employment with the PCSD.
When requested by the prosecution if two individuals can have the identical fingerprint, Yocum replied, “Everyone seems to be born with the identical fingerprint they’ll have their complete life. It’s very distinctive and discerning. We now have by no means found two individuals having the identical fingerprint. That features equivalent twins; they might have related particulars, however the total sample is totally different.”
Yocum testified the fingerprints discovered on two letters, dated in Could and June of 2017, matched Clements and his former girlfriend, Melissa Stark.
In one of many letters, Clements referred to Maribel Gonzalez by title.
The seventeenth witness for the state was a retired digital forensic examiner. Russell Blaylock mentioned he searched Clements’ iPad, MacBook and iPhone whereas working for the Tucson Police Division (TPD).
Clements had the “My Secret” app on his gadgets, in keeping with Blaylock. It’s a password protected folder. A safety characteristic additionally takes a forward-facing picture when a mistaken password is entered.
5 safety photographs have been taken of Clements and certainly one of Stark. The prosecution argued Clements was the one utilizing the app as a result of shortly after a safety picture of him was taken, extra pictures have been added to the folder.
The key folder on Clements’ iPad contained 1,247 pictures, Blaylock mentioned. 22 have been screenshots with web site info. These photographs got here from preteenmodels.org, nonudes.biz, underageladies.com, nonudepreteenmodel.com, littlemodel.com and tinymodels.biz.
The photographs saved have been of ladies and younger women, in keeping with Blaylock. Pictures of kids taking part in on the seashore, on the playground and in bathtubs have been recovered. Blaylock testified a few of the women have been carrying little clothes or none.
The photographs have been submitted to the jury as proof however weren’t proven in courtroom as youngster erotica is prohibited.
On one other iPad, the “My Secret” app revealed 189 pictures. Pictures have been first uploaded in August of 2013, Blaylock mentioned.
Among the footage have been proven in courtroom on Wednesday. They have been of younger youngsters, principally women, taken at totally different places in Tucson. The courtroom was proven photographs of children half-dressed in a yard (seemingly taken over a fence), a woman filling up a plastic tub with a backyard hose in a entrance yard, one other younger lady sitting on the entrance steps of a house, a younger lady on the sidewalk (seemingly taken from inside a automotive), women in shops and taking part in close to a house. In a single picture collection, the individual taking the images seems to be approaching a younger lady. She is seen lifting her shirt barely and seems to be inside a couple of toes from the individual taking the picture.
FBI Particular Agent Patrick Cullen, who was the state’s 18th witness, additionally searched Clements’ digital gadgets.
Cullen mentioned Clements’ laptop computer confirmed 10 hits for “Maribel Victoria,” and 16 hits for “Maribel Gonzalez.” In some circumstances, her title was searched, Cullen testified. In different circumstances, her title got here up in information articles and web sites.
There have been 25 google searches of “Valerie Calonge,” Cullen mentioned, and 6 hits for “murdered youngsters.”
In October of 2014, “physique present in desert” was searched on one of many gadgets. “Hint proof discovered on physique,” “Tucson teen was murdered” and “East Garden gravesite hours” have been additionally searched.
On Clements’ iPhone, “Maribel Gonzalez” was searched in January of 2016, in keeping with the FBI agent. Clements’ telephone additionally reveals our KOLD Information 13 story, “Unsolved homicide nonetheless haunts grieving mom,” was visited that very same month.
When a juror requested if it’s doable Stark made any of the searches, Cullen replied, “It’s unattainable to know who made the searches. We simply know the searches have been produced from these gadgets.”
Cullen additionally mentioned Clements’ telephone reveals he was listening to 5-0 Radio, which is an internet police scanner, the night time of Maribel’s disappearance. Clements had the scanner app open till 11:51 p.m. on June 3, 2014. He then re-opened the app within the early morning hours of June 4, Cullen mentioned. It wasn’t the primary or final time Clements used the app, in keeping with Cullen.
Two moms additionally took the stand on Wednesday, bringing the state’s witness rely to twenty.
The 2 ladies testified they have been notified by regulation enforcement that Clements had photographs of their youngsters on his laptop. One mom mentioned she had by no means met Clements earlier than, and claimed her daughter was 5 years outdated when the photographs have been taken of her outdoors of an residence.
The opposite mom mentioned she went on a date with Clements as soon as, and mentioned he will need to have taken a photograph of her and her son from her Fb web page as she didn’t ship it to him.
DISAPPEARED IN THE DESERT
KOLD has been masking the case for years. In 2021, we launched an award-winning podcast referred to as Disappeared within the Desert.
CLEMENTS’ CRIMINAL HISTORY
- In 1993, Clements was accused of molesting a really younger youngster however was by no means charged.
- In 1998, he was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in Oregon.
- In 2002, he was convicted of id theft and assault in Washington.
- In 2006, he was convicted of failure to register as a intercourse offender in Florida.
- In 2007, he was convicted of failure to register as a intercourse offender in Oregon.
- In late 2007, he was charged with false reporting in Tucson after allegedly giving a police officer a pretend title.
- In 2011, he registered as a intercourse offender and was residing at a house within the 1900 block of South Craycroft Street.
- In 2012, he registered as a intercourse offender and was residing at a house within the 5800 block of East Elida Avenue.
- In 2013, he was charged with residing too shut to a college as a intercourse offender.
- In 2015, he was arrested on expenses of pimping and youngster abuse however the expenses have been later dismissed.
- In June 2016, he was arrested in reference to a housebreaking in Tucson.
- In January 2017, he was arrested in reference to a housebreaking in Maricopa County.
- In February 2017, he contacts the FBI alleging he has info on Isabel Celis’ physique.
- In March 2017, he leads federal brokers to human stays close to North Trico and West Avra Valley roads. DNA testing revealed the stays are from Isabel Celis.
- In September 2018, he was indicted on 22 counts in reference to the deaths of Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzalez. He would later plead not responsible to all expenses.
- In April 2022, he was convicted within the Maricopa County housebreaking case.
- In June 2022, he was sentenced to greater than 30 years for the Maricopa County housebreaking case.
- In September 2022, he went on trial for the dying of Maribel.
- In February 2023, he’s set to go on trial for the dying of Isabel.
ISABEL CELIS TIMELINE
- April 20, 2012: Isabel Mercedes Celis went to mattress in her bed room.
- April 21, 2012: Round 8 a.m., relations name 911 after they uncover she just isn’t in the home.
- April 22, 2012: FBI search canines arrive from Virginia to help within the search.
- April 23, 2012: Celis household and 88-CRIME submit a $6,000 reward.
- March 2017: Human stays have been found close to North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County.
- March 31, 2017: DNA evaluation confirms stays are these of Isabel Celis.
- Sept. 15, 2018: Authorities announce the indictment of Christopher Matthew Clements in Isabel’s dying.
MARIBEL GONZALEZ TIMELINE
- June 3, 2014: Maribel Gonzalez leaves dwelling to stroll and go to a pal.
- June 4, 2014: Gonzalez was reported lacking by her household after she failed to return dwelling.
- June 6, 2014: Human stays have been found close to North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County.
- June 20, 2014: DNA evaluation confirms stays are these of Maribel Gonzalez.
- Sept. 15, 2018: Authorities announce the indictment of Christopher Matthew Clements in Maribel’s dying.
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