(WMC) – The third day of Maurice Brown Sr.'s murder trial began on Thursday with the state calling MPD officer Lee Walker to the stand. Walker collected evidence from Brown's apartment.
Brown is accused of murdering his 3-year-old son, Maurice Brown Jr. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder.
The boy was reported missing on July 1, 2012. After a search that lasted two days, his body was found in a dumpster.
A bloody towel is one of the items seized from Maurice Brown Sr.'s apartment. It is also the piece of evidence that led investigators to suspect Brown was involved in his son's disappearance from the beginning.
Brown told investigators he cut his index finger at work. Investigators say that was just one of the many unbelievable stories he told.
"The door in the bathroom had what looks like a hole in it," said Lt. Darren Goods, Memphis Police Department. "A little bit below the doorknob ... We paid close attention to that because that was indicative of maybe Maurice Brown Jr. having his head shoved into that door."
Lt. Goods interviewed Brown as investigators searched for the little boy.
"And then he asked me, 'Was I a Christian?' and I said, 'Yes, I was. Are you?' He said he was," said Goods. "Basically, I told him that if you are Christian then you've got a decision to make. You need to make the right decision."
Instead, Brown laid out a story in which the 3-year-old wet himself, showered, got dressed, unlocked the front doors, and ran away all on his own. It was a story the lieutenant did not believe.
When Goods asked Brown to tell him where Jr. was, he said Brown just shrugged his shoulders.
"Said, 'That's what I want to know.' Shrugged his shoulders. That's what I want to know," Goods recalled.
Goods said Brown told him he would never hurt his son; he said, "That was my lil' soldier."
Brown asked for a lawyer and was arrested a short time after that interview.
The officers who found Maurice Brown Jr.'s body also testified in court on Thursday.
The crime scene photos of the boy's body were too much for loved ones, who had to step out of the courtroom.
"Kind of upside down. I could see his feet," described Darrell Cherry with MPD. "I could see his legs. I could see the Batman T-shirt and his torso."
The dumpster was located near a nearly vacant apartment complex.
"It was just isolated and there was just a dumpster sitting there by itself," Cherry said. "That was the first place we went."
Lt. Tony Mullins was the lead investigator on the case. he noted blood spatter all over the closet in Brown's bathroom.
"Walls don't bleed, but people do," he said.
Defense attorney John Perry says Lt. Mullins can't prove the blood is even from a human. He suggests investigators don't have the evidence to prove that the boy's death was anything but an accident.
The medical examiner is scheduled to testify Friday morning. The trial will resume at 8:30 a.m.
To review what happened on Day 1 of the trial, follow the link: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/26140113/maurice-brown-srs-murder-trial-to-begin-tuesday.
To review what happened on Day 2 of the trial, follow the link: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/26151825/second-day-of-maurice-brown-srs-murder-trial-begins.