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Defense plans to file for mistrial in Tarwacki murder trial

August 30, 2013|By Kelli Stopczynski (kstopczynski@wsbt.com) | WSBT-TV
  • Keith Lintz, 28, charged with the murders of John and Carolyn Tarwacki of Niles (Photo provided by Cass Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Keith Lintz, 28, charged with the murders of John and Carolyn Tarwacki of Niles (Photo provided by Cass Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. – The defense attorney in a high-profile double murder trial in Cass County tells WSBT he plans to file for a mistrial on Tuesday, claiming the prosecutor withheld evidence.

They claim the prosecutor didn't give them information into the investigation – including a hair that was found near footprints outside John and Carolyn Tarwacki's Cass County home.

Defense attorneys also say they didn't receive information about the nearly 750 tips police received in the investigation and some search warrants in the case.

The judge told prosecutors they have to give up all that information to the defense.

Police say Keith Lintz Jr. shot, stabbed and beat the Tarwackis. This morning jurors saw the bloody sweatshirt John Tarwacki was wearing when he was killed. They also heard a state gun expert testify gunshot residue proves John was shot at point-blank range in the head.

Lab tests show the hair that was found was from a young person – possibly a juvenile. Tests also show it was not Lintz's.

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Forensic scientists told jurors numbers on the bottom of the footprints in the snow COULD have been a size 12 and MIGHT have been a specific brand of shoe.

A detective testified Lintz was wearing size 12 when he was arrested last fall, but the tread pattern on those shoes didn't match the prints.

Lintz's ex-girlfriend testified yesterday he told her he was the "number one suspect" in the murders because police had his footprints going through the back yard. 

Carolyn Tarwacki's mom testified she found what police believe was the murder weapon while cleaning out a freezer at the couple's home.

“There was blood on the knife and I knew that shouldn't be, so I put that frozen food back in there and called the state police,” she said.

We have a crew in the courtroom and will have the latest on the new developments in this double murder trial tonight at 5 and 6 – Including testimony from Lintz's cell mate who is on the stand right now. He claims Lintz told him he was in a drug-induced hypnosis, and while he didn't remember the murders he had dreams about a bloody woman he choked and stabbed.

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