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Sources of hand scratch differ

BISMARCK - Moe Gibbs' ex-wife testified in his second murder trial Friday that she was not present when the former Barnes County jailer scratched his hands, which contradicts what he told investigators.

Christina Judd, Moe Gibbs' ex-wife

BISMARCK - Moe Gibbs' ex-wife testified in his second murder trial Friday that she was not present when the former Barnes County jailer scratched his hands, which contradicts what he told investigators.

A Valley City, N.D., police detective testified earlier this week that Gibbs told investigators that Chrissy Judd was present when he injured his hands. Gibbs said he injured his left hand while moving boxes, and his right hand while putting Judd's daughter into or out of a car seat, Detective Mark McDonald said.

Judd also testified for a little more than an hour about Gibbs' behavior, a conversation with him after his arrest and her contact with him on Sept. 13, 2006, the day Mindy Morgenstern was killed in the apartment building Gibbs and Judd also lived in at the time.

Judd, who did not look at Gibbs as she testified, said Gibbs told her he helped Morgenstern carry her laundry the day before she was killed.

Clothing was found scattered about Morgenstern's feet in her apartment and prosecutors contend a shirt was used to hold the kitchen knives that cut her throat after she was strangled.

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Judd also said she did not smell Pine-Sol or see blood on Gibbs' clothing at any time the day of the slaying, and she did not recall him wearing different clothing during the separate times she saw him that day.

Her sister, Angela Curry, testified that Gibbs showed her a cut to his left hand and a scratch to his face two days after Morgenstern's death. Curry said Gibbs told her he scratched his hand "the other day" on his vehicle's tailgate while moving boxes.

Judd testified she did not remember what day Gibbs received the injuries to his hands, but added she gave investigators dates that include the day Morgenstern was killed.

Gibbs, 35, is accused of strangling and cutting the throat of the 22-year-old Valley City State University senior in her apartment. He faces a maximum sentence of life without parole if convicted of the Class AA felony murder charge.

A jury deadlocked 6-6 during Gibbs' first murder trial in July.

Curry described the injury as "a little hole in his hand." Prosecutors contend Morgenstern scratched Gibbs during a struggle, catching his DNA under her left-hand fingernails.

Curry said when she and Judd discussed the murder two days after it happened, Gibbs "was very quiet about it.

"He didn't really say much of anything," she said.

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Under questioning by defense attorneys, Curry said it was not unusual for Gibbs to be quiet around her.

A forensic examiner from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified Thursday that mitochondrial DNA testing on a light-colored hair found in Morgenstern's left hand did not match Gibbs or Morgenstern. Morgenstern had dark hair. Gibbs has a shaved head.

Usable fingerprints found at the scene did not match Gibbs or Morgenstern, testified Annette Anderson, an identification technician for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

LaMonte Jacobson, a forensic supervisor at the State Crime Lab, said Pine-Sol, which was poured on Morgenstern's body, was not found on seized items of Gibbs' clothing or shoes.

The small Burleigh County courtroom was nearly full most of the day, with some spectators filling the empty bench where Gibbs' supporters and family have sat throughout the trial. His fiancée and their daughter briefly attended the proceedings in the afternoon.

Moe Gibbs Trial

Summary: Day 5

- Who testified: Chrissy Judd, Moe Gibbs' ex-wife; Angela Curry, Judd's sister; Annette Anderson, an identification technician at North Dakota's Bureau of Criminal Investigation; LaMonte Jacobson, forensic supervisor at the State Crime Lab; and two others.

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- Key Testimony: Judd gave contradicting accounts of how Gibbs scratched his hands. A forensic analyst testified that a hair found in Morgenstern's left hand does not match her or Gibbs.

- Coming Monday: North Dakota State Crime Lab Director Hope Olson will testify about Gibbs' DNA found under Morgenstern's fingernails.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541

Sources of hand scratch differ Brittany Lawonn 20071103

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