By Lisa Backus and Brenda Maguire
Jurors in the murder trial of James Carter were shown a pair of jeans Monday that may represent a key piece of evidence against the defendant in the stabbing death of Tiana Notice.
Carter is facing charges of murder and violation of a protective order in connection with Notice’s death. State Police Detective Matthew Gunsalus told the court he recognized the jeans as the pair Carter was wearing when he was taken into custody by police hours after Notice was found with stab wounds.
Notice, a 25-year-old graduate student, was found bleeding from wounds to her upper body and abdomen the night of Feb. 14, 2009. State Police investigators say the jeans contained splatters of a “blood-like” substance and were seized as evidence after Carter was pulled over in Windsor about three hours later.
Carter’s public defender, Christopher Eddy, had sought to suppress the pants and other evidence, including Carter’s remarks to police after he was handcuffed and letters he sent from jail.
New Britain Superior Court Judge Frank D’Addabbo ruled Thursday before the trial began that the remarks and items could be used as evidence.
Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Rotiroti showed photos of Carter dressed in jeans and a football-style jersey taken in the early-morning hours after he was taken into custody.
Rotiroti also introduced evidence of a video-surveillance camera believed to have been installed by Notice’s father, Alvin, the week before her death in her Plainville apartment. Alvin Notice was not allowed in the courtroom during much of Monday’s testimony because other witness accounts could overlap his own testimony when he takes the stand at some point during the trial.
D’Addabbo has told jurors that he expects the trial to take about three weeks. Testimony will continue today.