State Rests in Kinsela Murder, Arson Case in Easley

It is not known if Don Kinsela, who was indicted on murder and arson charges last year in connection with the death of his wife Cheryl Kinsela in 2010, will testify.

Updated: 4 p.m., Dec. 3, 2012

Testimony in the trial is expected to continue until 6 p.m. tonight. We will update this story as soon as we can following the close of court for the day.

Updated: 1:40 p.m., Dec. 3, 2012

The state has rested in the case against an Easley man charged with murder and arson charges in the death of his wife.

Don Kinsela was indicted on murder and arson charges last year in connection with the death of his wife Cheryl Kinsela in 2010.

On July 3, 2010, police and firefighters responded to a call at the Kinsela’s 131 Beverly Drive residence.

Monday morning, Rachel Watson, a registered nurse, testified that Don Kinsela had no burns on him after being admitted to Baptist Easley Hospital on the day of fire.

Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wikins had a fire expert admit redness on Kinsela's face could have occurred from a flash burn caused when Kinsela spilled gas and then ignited it.

Defense attorney Druanne White has yet to disclose if Don Kinsela will testify in his own defense.

Judge Letitia Verdin told Don Kinsela in court he could have a chance to tell his side of story. The judge also said told Kinsela if he decided not to do so, the jury would not be allowed to use a decision not to testify against him in their deliberations.

Defense expert witness Dr. David Icove testified that the exact make and models of a small refrigerator, computer and weed eater inside the shed should have been identified and used by investigators in determining the possible ignition source of fire. Icove said there was fault in evidence collection and preservation taint could have hindered conclusions drawn by the investigators.

Icove testified that he believes the fire was accidental in nature, a flash or vapor fire caused by spilled gasoline causing vapors, ignited by weed whacker, electric spark or some other ignition source.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Mike Warde autopsied Cheryl Kinsela's body. Warde said that Cheryl Kinsela died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide intoxication. He ruled her death a homicide, but admitted under cross-examination that the ruling was based on ATF reports.

The defense has been pointing out flaws in reports and absences in evidence, which could cause the jury to question the ruling of homicide.

Defense Attorney Druanne White could conclude her case as early as Tuesday.

Stay with Easley Patch, as we will continue to update this story...


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