Day three of the Zachary Wester trial wraps up

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Wednesday marks day three of the Zachary Wester trial. The former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy is accused of planting drugs in cars during traffic stops.

Wednesday morning, jurors heard from half a dozen more witnesses, including four who claim to be victims of Wester. Similar to what they saw over the last few days, body camera footage of their traffic stops was shown.

When court resumed after lunch, the prosecution called several witnesses from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to the stand. They explained what DNA and prints are, as well as how they play a role in connecting someone to an item.

“I look for factors, unique factors that can be identified to one person or another. If there is not enough information, so very very small area was left but there just not enough information for me to identify somebody or exclude them, then I will say that that print is not value for comparison purposes,” Crime Laboratory Analyst Barbara McGlemmery-Evans said.

Experts said many of the items tested from arrests made by Wester lacked these factors.

Since Wester’s arrest, more than 100 cases he was involved in have been dropped.

We heard from current Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Dylan Jackson, who worked backup in one of these cases. Defense Attorney Ryan Davis cross-examined the deputy, trying to show jurors it’s not uncommon to see drug arrests in the area.

Davis: “How often? Weekly?”

Jackson: “Weekly. I mean almost daily.”

Davis: “So almost daily, you’re investigating someone in this county for methamphetamine?”

Jackson: “Yes.”

Wester is facing more than 60 charges including official misconduct, fabricating evidence, and false imprisonment. Court proceedings will resume Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. Court officials say the defense could call his first witness as early as Friday, and the defendant could be taking the stand next week.

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