Did homeless murder victim simply fall on the knife?
A forensics expert will testify at trial that a homeless man who died from a knife wound simply fell on the knife.
Or was he stabbed?
The expert had previously testified that he could not tell how victim Joel Boner's knife wound occurred — that is, whether he was stabbed or fell on the knife.
"This was a change," Assistant State Attorney Jim Altman said after the hearing. "This came as a surprise that now he was saying this."
The state has added Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia as a witness to rebut the defense expert's testimony.
John Hawthorne is charged with second-degree murder in the July 22, 2009, death of Boner. He is free on $25,000 bond, but must remain in his parents' Ocoee home for all but an hour a day.
Hawthorne was arrested the day of the killing after he and a friend, Cameron Milner, spent a night drinking and riding an ATV around Lake Bennett. They went to Boner's camp early that morning.
Hawthorne ordered Boner to leave and slashed his tent with a knife. They then started to fight. Hawthorne testified that Boner attacked him first.
Read the Orlando Sentinel report here. And see previous posts here, here, here and here. For more detail on the case, check out the Orlando Weekly's "An inauspicious death: When a gay homeless man is murdered, does anyone care?" here. And don't miss Justice for Joel Boner