Opening statements in murder trial for man accused of killing Goshen College professor in 2011

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 5:44 PM EST
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GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) -Jurors in Goshen listened to opening statements in the murder trial of 25-year-old Winston Corbett, accused of killing a Goshen College professor in 2011.

No one was charged in James Miller’s death or the assault on his wife for seven years.

Prosecutors say investigators eventually charged Corbett after matching blood samples found at the scene to DNA they collected from the defendant.

Prosecutors say there were three blood samples, one found on the driveway, one on a door handle, and one on the baseboard inside the home.

It wasn’t until seven years later that newer technology pointed law enforcement in the direction of Corbett.

The prosecutor says investigators went through Corbett’s trash to find DNA samples that ended up being consistent with the blood.

These items consisted of drink containers, chewing gum, and an airline ticket.

Prosecutors say the chance of the connection being a coincidence is one in one-sextillion, or one in a trillion-billion.

The defense opened by saying much of the evidence jurors will hear won’t prove that Corbett committed a crime or that he had a motive.

The attorneys took turns asking two Goshen police officers, who were the first to arrive on scene the night of the crime, what they experienced that evening, the first two witnesses.

Officers Brandon Miller and Jeremy Welker both took the stand, starting with Miller.

He said he was the first to arrive at Wildwood Court in Goshen with his lights and sirens off.

Welker said he was the first officer to head into the house where he noticed blood on the door handle.

It wasn’t until both officers came back outside the home after speaking with the bloodied wife of Professor Miller that they saw James' lifeless body near the home’s mailbox.

Officer Welker recalled where he remembers seeing blood on the door saying, “There’s a storm door, glass, and my flashlight picked up again what appeared to be blood on the push button and a clump of hair on the outside push button. There was a small spot on the top of the button and I didn’t want to touch the blood but I knew I had to go inside.”

We’ll continue to bring you updates, on-air and online as the trial continues.

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