ST. FRANCISVILLE - Bloodstains on a box cutter and clothing taken from the teenage suspect in the throat-slashing slaying of an 8-year-old boy are linked by DNA analysis to the victim, according to State Police crime lab reports.
West Feliciana Parish prosecutors turned over the lab reports and other material Friday to the attorney for Trevor Reese, 17, who is accused of first-degree murder in the June 10, 2010, death of Jackson “Jack” Attuso, of Clinton.
The victim’s DNA was found on a blood-stained box cutter - a type of knife designed to open cardboard boxes - that witnesses said Reese dropped when he told them he had stabbed someone.
The slaying occurred on a recreational trail in The Bluffs on Thompson Creek, where Reese lived. The victim was riding his bike on the trail with mother, brothers and family friends.
The boy’s blood also was found on clothing Reese dropped or was wearing, as well as on a knife sheath found on the trail, according to crime lab reports.
Defense attorney Lewis Unglesby and prosecutors in the case told 20th Judicial District Judge William G. Carmichael at Friday’s hearing that they would refrain from discussing the case in public forums.
District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla asked in January for a gag order in the case, but Carmichael said Friday he would not sign a written order barring public comment as long as the attorneys abide by the pledges made in open court.
Assistant District Attorneys Amanda McClung and Haley Major Green represented the state Friday in D’Aquilla’s absence, and Green said the order is needed to avoid prejudicing the jury pool in West Feliciana Parish.
“We have such a small jury pool, as it is,” she said.
Unglesby entered a “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea on Reese’s behalf last July. Reese was 16 at the time of the killing, but he is being tried as an adult. If convicted of first-degree murder, he could not be sentenced to death because of his age at the time of the crime.
Carmichael ruled, without objection, last month that Reese is competent to stand trial, but the ruling does not address his mental condition at the time of the slaying.
Reese’s appearance in court Friday was his first in a year, and he wore a striped jail uniform and a protective vest. His hair is noticeably shorter than it was last year.
School records show Reese completed the 10th grade at Baton Rouge High School before he was jailed, but he also attended West Feliciana Parish schools.
In April 2009, Reese took the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, and his core total national percentile rank of 99 meant that he scored higher than 99 percent of the ninth-graders in the nation who took the same test.
A report by sheriff’s Sgt. Shannon Tilley says Reese told his father, “I’m sorry, Dad,” when the two first met after the killing.
When Tilley told the suspect he wanted to take a DNA sample for a murder investigation, Tilley wrote that Trevor Reese immediately replied, “He’s dead?”
“I told Trevor that he was, and he hung his head down,” Tilley said in his report.
Tilley also wrote that Reese described himself in a paper dated May 1, 2010, as being easily bored, “attention being ?annoyingly fickle,’” and having a great family.
A loose-leaf paper with Reese’s name and dated Feb. 2, 2010, the deputy’s report says, “is a short description of what justice can be and how everything isn’t always right or wrong, and how wrong actions can have outcomes that are good.”
In a paper dated April 12, 2010, Reese “gives a detailed account of why he believes capital punishment should be abolished,” Tilley wrote.
The papers were obtained during a search of Reese’s room.
A poem titled, “Spiraling” that was written on loose-leaf paper “speaks of spiraling down and needing help,” Tilley said.
Sheriff’s deputies submitted a tire from the victim’s brother’s bike, which Tilley said appeared to have been cut. A crime lab report says a tool-mark analysis determined the cut was made by an Old Timer knife submitted as possible evidence.
Green told the judge and Unglesby Friday that two more crime lab reports will be given to the defense when they are finished.
The victim was clutching what appeared to be hair when he died, but the reports handed over Friday do not mention a DNA analysis of that evidence.