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Trial looks at weapon used in stabbing
A state medical examiner said all 13 knife wounds found on 51-year-old Vivian Lott, who was knifed to death in September 2011 in her home in north Glynn County, could have been caused by a single standard steak knife.

Dr. Maryanne Gaffney-Kraft, the state's central regional medical examiner, testified Wednesday in the third day of trial against Eric Daniel Marroquin, who is accused of killing Lott and stabbing two others on Sept. 16, 2011.

According to Gaffney-Kraft's testimony, Lott sustained 13 separate knife wounds -- four stabbing wounds and nine incisions -- and two of them could have caused her death.

One of the fatal wounds was a long slice across her neck, which cut through her left jugular artery, and another was a stab wound to her back, which severed her spinal chord and punctured a lung.

Brunswick Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Andy Beaver questioned Gaffney-Kraft about photos taken of Lott's autopsy, which Gaffney-Kraft performed three days after Lott's murder.

Defense attorneys Tuesday asserted that Robert Long, one of the victims in the case, could have been responsible for Lott's death because police did not test blood found on a large butcher knife Long was found holding immediately after the murder.

In an effort to debunk the defense's assertion, Beaver questioned Gaffney-Kraft about a small, nearly 5-inch-long knife blade, which had been found broken off in the wound on Lott's back. The blade was the same width as three other stab wounds found on Lott's body and also could have caused the remaining incisions.

"All these wounds, could they have all been caused by the same knife?" Beaver asked.

"Yes, they could," Gaffney-Kraft replied.

Marroquin is accused of killing Lott, then stabbing Long and Marroquin's teenage girlfriend, Melanie Houston, at Lott's home at 7975 New Jesup Highway. Long and Lott survived and told police Marroquin was the suspect.

Marroquin is being represented by court-appointed lawyers April Herbert and Alex Smith, with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit Defender's office.

Assistant District Attorneys Katie Gropper and Beaver are representing the state.

Marroquin was indicted December 2011 on one count of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of attempted murder and eluding police.

The state and defense are expected to close arguments today.

Glynn County Superior Court Judge Anthony Harrison is presiding over the case.

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