Pictured: Lead investigator in the Morin case Javier Gutierrez demonstrates on prosecutor Jon West the manner in which the victims in this case were bound with electrical cords. Photo by CHRISTOPHER MAHER

Morin told police he was high on drugs

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

HEBBRONVILLE - The jury continued to hear evidence Thursday in the trial of Abel Morin Jr., a man accused of sexually assaulting a San Diego mother and daughter last year.

Testimony continued Thursday morning by Javier Gutierrez, the San Diego police officer who investigated the case. It was during his testimony that the prosecution played a videotaped interview law enforcement conducted with Morin just two days after the incident, in which Morin confessed to raping both women.

After being advised of his rights, Morin could be seen on the video explaining that he was high on drugs when he broke into the home and assaulted the mother and daughter.

“I was really heavy on cocaine. I was smoking rocks, weed, all kinds of stuff,” Morin told the officers. “The next thing I knew I was in the house.”

On the video, Morin explained to officers the process of tying up the mother, sexually assaulting her and her daughter, driving away with the daughter and sexually assaulting her again before releasing her.

“I did something I shouldn’t have done,” Morin said on the video. “I raped them.”

Following the video, Gutierrez used electrical cords he had cut off of the mother to demonstrate on prosecutor Jon West how she was bound at her hands and feet.

During cross-examination, defense attorney David Towler focused on apparent discrepancies between the actual running time of the video and the time stated by Gutierrez during the interview, and suggested the video tape had been altered to present his client in a negative light.

Gutierrez later explained that the discrepancy occurred because several different clocks were used to keep time during the interview.

Towler also questioned why Gutierrez left a boyfriend of the teenager in charge of the crime scene without any law enforcement supervision, while he took the mother to the police station and began search efforts for the daughter.

Gutierrez said a lack of available manpower made the decision necessary, and denied any evidence was tampered with, because he collected all evidence and brought it with him to the station.

The jury also heard testimony from Carol McLaughlin, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and Forensic Nurse from Driscoll Children’s Hospital and Doctor’s Regional Hospital in Corpus Christi. McLaughlin testified she examined both the mother and daughter separately the afternoon after the alleged assaults occurred. McLaughlin testified both women described the assault in detail to her, and she found physical evidence of sexual activity during her examinations.

That evidence was turned over to investigators, McLaughlin said.

Other testimony Thursday included several witnesses from the hospitals in Corpus Christi at which the victims were examined and from scientists with the Corpus Christi Department of Public Safety who discussed the chain of custody of physical evidence.

The state was expected to conclude its case today.