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Knives, clothing shown to jury in Swem murder trial

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Christopher Swem murder trial resumed Monday in Jefferson County Court with photos, physical evidence and more witness testimony.

For the first time, the jury was shown physical evidence of clothing and weapons found at the scene.

The clothing included the shoes, shorts, and t-shirt Swem allegedly threw away at a Precision Car Wash the morning of the deadly stabbing.

Prosecutors say Swem was wearing those clothes when Shawndell Anderson was fatally stabbed at a house party on Moulton Street in Watertown on August 19, 2017.

In 2018, Swem was convicted of murder and other crimes. But in 2020, a state appeals court ruled the conviction should be tossed out. The court ruled the trial judge erred in not giving the jury a special instruction.

Former Watertown Police Detective Matthew Dawley testified Monday he saw red markings, what he says appeared to be blood, on the collar of the t-shirt.

The jury also got a look at a number of knives that were entered into evidence.

Watertown Police Officer Vance Trapp testified to finding several knives during the course of his investigation, including a knife discovered behind the stove at 220 Moulton Street.

220 Moulton Street is the address prosecutors say Swem was involved in a fight that turned deadly.

Vance Trapp testified he also collected a steak knife found in a yard at a nearby home.

All were sent to the New York State Police lab for testing.

Jurors have not heard from anyone from the lab about whether any of the knives were used as the murder weapon.

And there was more testimony from those who were at the party, including Paul Crandall and Derek Paine.

Crandall said while he had seen Swem with a pocket knife before, he did not see him with a knife that night.

Neither Crandall nor Paine saw the victim get stabbed.

Testimony is expected to wrap up Tuesday. The trial resumes at 8:45 a.m.

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