Pathologist, DNA Expert Testify in Antelope County Double-Murder Trial

NELIGH - A pathologist and DNA expert took the stand Wednesday at the double murder trial in Antelope County.  33-year-old Matthew Hinrichsen of Ewing is charged with the murders of his former girlfriend Victoria Lee and her husband Alex Vargas.  The two were found dead in their burned trailer house on the morning of December 8th.  The Neligh News and Leader reports Dr. Thomas Carroll, a pathologist with Pathology Medical Services of Siouxland, testified that Lee died from acute blunt force trauma to the head and that Vargas died of gunshot wounds to the chest and torso.  Carroll said Vargas died prior to the fire and that two exit wounds on the anterior chest wall would have caused immediate death.  Defense attorney Todd Lancaster asked Carroll if Lee’s fractures could be the result of heat fractures from the fire.  Carroll replied that heat fractures do not typically produce fracture lines but tend to be circular or oval.  NelighNews.com also reports that Melissa Helligso, a forensic DNA analyst from the University of Nebraska Medical Center conducted DNA testing on several pieces of evidence.  Helligso said a spot on the middle of the AK-47 barrel matched the DNA from Victoria Lee and that a spot on the gun near the grip matched Hinrichsen’s DNA.  A jury of seven men and five women is hearing evidence.