Bite marks are focus of testimony on day two of Carlton Gary ret - WRBL

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Bite marks are focus of testimony on day two of Carlton Gary retrial hearing

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Day two of a hearing to determine whether there will be a retrial of convicted stocking strangler Carlton Gary was all about bite marks.

The defense team called seven witnesses to the stand Tuesday, all to prove that Carlton Gary's teeth were not the ones that left bite marks on victim Janet Cofer.

There were discrepancies between the testimonies of Dr. Carlos "Sunny" Galbreath, who took impressions of the bite markings at the scene in 1978 and Dr. Tomas David, a forensic dentistry expert. Galbreath testified that there was only a top imprint of teeth, and that whoever bit Cofer had a gap between the front two incisors.

David studied a rubber impression made of the teeth that had deteriorated in 1984, and later the stone cast. He agreed that there was a separation between teeth in the top row, but that it could have been from a chipped tooth as opposed to a gap. He says there was an imprint for the lower teeth also and after analyzing it, says it does not coincide with a cast he made of Gary's teeth in 2006. He testified that one tooth on the bottom row was turned almost at a 90 degree angle, a trait that Gary does not have.

"In my opinion, Mr. Gary is probably not the biter," said David. "I cannot absolutely exclude him."

David said his testimony was solely based on the lower row of teeth, however, narrowing how much evidence he examined. He says, "When you factor in the distortion that always occurs in a bite mark, I cannot absolutely exclude him, but I would say he is probably excluded."

Character witnesses also testified that Gary has always had "pretty teeth," and was a model for a clothing store. The manager of the store, J.T. Frazier, says he would not have hired Gary if he had a gap in his teeth. 

Investigative British journalist David Rose, who has been helping as an investigator in the case, took the stand afterwards to testify that Dr. Galbreath had conflicting statements in various conversations, attempting to disqualify his testimony and leave Dr. David as the sole expert on the teeth.

Rose also measured Carlton Gary's foot size, which the defense says is bigger than the shoe print left at one of the scenes. The state attorney vehemently protested, but Judge Jordan allowed Gary's foot to be measured.

From there the defense rested. 

Wednesday prosecutors will bring in their witnesses to discuss a false confession by Gertrude Miller.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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