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Gear shift in Kirk Zimmerman’s car tests positive for gunshot residue

In day 11 of the Kirk Zimmerman trial his defense team is still working to create reasonable doubt that Zimmerman shot and killed his ex-wife in 2014.

This morning the forensic specialists who examined fingerprint evidence and gunshot residue testified they did find gunshot residue in Zimmerman’s car. The gear shift in Kirk Zimmerman’s 2013 Hyundai Sonata was swabbed and tested for gunshot residue. The results? Positive.

But Zimmerman’s defense team argues the residue came from an investigating officer, not Zimmerman. Ellen Chapman took the stand as an expert witness on gunshot residue detection. She tested over a dozen samples taken from Kirk Zimmerman’s gloves, jacket, and car.

Bloomington Police Detective Martin Krylowicz collected samples from the ignition button and gear shift in Zimmerman’s car while wearing his firearm. Chapman collected the samples from the jacket and gloves.

Only the gear shift came back positive for gunshot residue.
The defense – sticking to their guns – claims Krylowicz contaminated the gear shift when he collected the sample with his firearm on his hip.

During questioning earlier Krylowicz mentioned that he had conversations with other officers after the gunshot residue tests came back positive, that they would all need to provide information about the last time they cleaned their guns. The defense team sees this as an effort by the prosecution to cover themselves. Two out of three detectives that went inside Zimmerman’s car to collect evidence had their firearms on them in the vehicle.

Krylowicz also says sometime after this incident they stopped doing gunshot residue testing with their firearm on them. But still says he couldn’t have contaminated the gear shift in Zimmerman’s car.

Kyle Beachy

Kyle Beachy is a Multimedia Journalist for 25 News and Heart of Illinois. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, he attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Education and played baseball. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where he received a Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University.

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