Loading

68°F

65°F

67°F

65°F

64°F

67°F

70°F

65°F

64°F

70°F

67°F

70°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Man accused of murder plans on taking stand in trial; Jury hears testimony on DNA samplesSubmitted: 04/14/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

MERRILL - A Merrill-man accused of killing his wife and hiding her body will take the stand in Lincoln County court, according to defense attorneys Monday.

Mark Bucki, 50 , faces three charges in connection to the 2013 murder of his wife Anita. He faces a charge of first-degree homicide, a charge of hiding a body and a charge of strangling a person. Attorneys plan on making their closing arguments Tuesday. The jury will begin deliberating afterwards.

Defense attorneys for Bucki tried to dismiss the case Monday morning.They argued there wasn't enough forensic evidence to move forward, but the judge ruled there was enough evidence for the case to go to a jury decision.

--DNA and Samples--

DNA and blood samples could make the difference for the jury in the case. A number of specialists and DNA analysts testified in court Monday. Specialists said the evidence couldn't genetically show if Bucki did or didn't murder his wife.

Investigators took more than 30 samples from the Bucki property west of Merrill in April 2013. That included samples from an ATV, a pickup truck, an ATV trailer and a pair of boots. Prosecutors believe Bucki used the vehicles to move his wife after she was murdered.

Bart Nagle is a DNA analyst. He testified in court Monday that he thinks he found blood on the ATV, but he couldn't add much more information or context.
"You can't tell us if that was from a human or an animal?" Bucki's Defense Attorney James Lex asked.

"I cannot, and I cannot even really tell you if it is blood or not," Nagle said. "There are things that will also give a positive test in that presumptive test."

Presumptive tests try to prove a specific body tissue or fluid is on the sample being tested. Nagle said he found some traces of DNA on samples, but there wasn't a large enough sample to do more advanced, accurate testing.

"Some were trace, some amount of DNA, and some were zero," Nagle said.

"But some of that had trace amounts of DNA?" Assistant State Attorney General Richard Dufour asked.

"Yes that is correct," Nagle said.

"Just not enough for you to test them?" Dufour asked.

"Right, that is correct," Nagle said.

Investigators found the samples using luminol, a chemical spray that glows when it reacts to iron found in blood. Luminol is only a presumptive test and should be used in conjunction with a second field presumptive test and followed by laboratory analysis if sufficient amounts of staining are detected, according to a Lightning Powder Company publication.

Witnesses say none of the samples came back as Anita Bucki's blood.
Nagle said the evidence couldn't show if Bucki did or didn't kill his wife.

--Possible Impact from Cleaners on Samples--

Prosecutors believe Mark Bucki used bleach and other cleaners to tidy up his truck and home after allegedly killing his wife Anita. DNA analysts said Monday the chemicals would clean up blood, and they would also make it more challenging to accurately label samples when testing.

Investigators testifying last week said they smelled a strong orange cleaner in the Bucki's garage the day Anita disappeared. They also found cleaner in a room with torn up carpet. Nagle said the cleaner would make it more difficult to find a DNA match to possible blood samples.

"I'm not 100 percent sure how bleach would affect the presumptive test," Nagle said "I do know it would destroy the DNA."

Prosecutors say the cleaner at the Bucki home was CaviCide, which you can use it to disinfect surfaces. Anna Schmitz, Wisconsin State Crime Lab, testified they use the same cleaner to sterilize surfaces in their labs.

"Would that include blood samples that you are maintaining? " Dufour asked.

"Yes," Schmitz said.

"Does it do a good job?" Dufour asked.

"I believe so," Schmitz said.

Defense attorneys reminded the jury the cleaner was for surfaces and not carpets. It was found next to a large section of open floor where carpet had been torn up. According to testimony and evidence presented in the case, the section was torn up and burned the same day Anita Bucki disappeared.

She was found dead near Highway C in a swampy area in Taylor County in May 2013. Mark Bucki was arrested in connection to the disappearance and murder on May 13, 2013.

Day seven of the trial will begin Tuesday morning at 8:15 a.m. on the second floor of the Lincoln County courthouse in Merrill. The jury could decide a verdict as early as Tuesday evening.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

WAUSAU - A Marathon County inmate who ran away finds himself back in jail.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Matthew Hornung at the Wausau American Legion Golf Course Thursday morning.  Someone saw the 31-year-old man hiding in the woods near the golf course and called police.  

Hornung disappeared Wednesday.

He was cleared to go to an off-site meeting, but cut off his GPS tracker and vanished.

He is in custody on an Alernative to Revocation for his probation.

Court records show Hornung was convicted of misdemeanor battery in 2012.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Heading back to school makes many students stress about what they are going to wear, especially when it comes to that first day look. And educators at one Northwoods school want their students to know that dressing for success, is more important than dressing to fit in.

At Lakeland Union High School, the dress code is designed to promote making wise fashion choices. Administrators say they want students to get in the routine of dressing, as if they're going to work.

"We're teaching them how to get ready for college and how to get ready for a career that they're going to be going into, 'career and college readiness', we want to make sure that they understand 'dressing for success', and a lot of times we spend a lot of time talking from that point of view," said Lakeland Union High School principal Jim Bouche.

Lakeland Union High School doesn't require uniforms, but they do have specific guidelines in place. They don't spell out what students can wear, but instead tell them what they can't. The overall goal is to keep kids focused in class.

+ Read More

PHILLIPS - Dozens of manufacturing workers in Phillips could face hard times in the next few months. The Georgia-Pacific plant in town will close on October 27, and 53 employees will be laid off.

Georgia-Pacific told us the workers are great, but a poor market for specialty wood board products is forcing the closure.

The plant closure could be a challenge for those laid-off workers, but it could also be an opportunity for a new career.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.

But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.

"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.

+ Read More

ARBOR VITAE - Fire destroyed a home in Arbor Vitae early Thursday morning but everyone inside got out safely.

A 911 call came into the Vilas County Sheriff's Department at 4:00 a.m., reporting a fire at 2075 Soik Road.

People in the home woke up to the smell of smoke.

They told police they found flames coming from one of the walls.

After trying to put out the fire, they got out of the home.

No one was hurt, but the home was a total loss.

+ Read More

Play Video

GREEN BAY - The Packers won't have Jordy Nelson this season. Other players are still hurt to some level as well.

However, some packer fans aren't worried. They have faith Aaron Rodgers and the team have what it takes to make it all the way to the Super Bowl.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most of northern Wisconsin will be able to hunt bucks this year only during deer hunting season, but in Rhinelander, people might be able to hunt does as part of a city hunt.

The Rhinelander City Council will vote on whether to allow a citywide bow hunt.

It's held citywide hunts before.

Rhinelander's Police Chief Mike Steffes says it hasn't in a couple of years.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here