Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 25, 2011

Schwander defense ready to launch its case

TRAVERSE CITY — Prosecutors will soon wrap their case against Robert Jensen Schwander.

Schwander, 18, is charged with an open count of murder in the June 2 death of Carly Lewis, 16.

His trial continued this morning in 13th Circuit Court, and defense witnesses should begin testifying shortly.

Thomas Holcomb, a forensic scientist with the Michigan State Police who probed for Carly’s body at the edge of a large sand pile, testified he’s used a metal probe to search for bodies multiple times before without damaging the body.

He also said, under cross examination from defense attorney Craig Elhart, that holes in garbage bags that contained Carly’s body could have been caused by a probe, and that he likely hit her body multiple times with the device.

Elhart contends 10 stab wounds on Carlys body were caused by a police probe, but investigators believe Schwander fatally stabbed her.

Elhart will attempt to prove Schwander accidentally strangled Carly.

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