Grisly evidence sparks emotion in Robertson trial

On a day dominated by the slow and painstakingly formal process of submitting evidence, several moments of grief erupted in Courtroom 815 and hung like a pall over the trial of Anthony Robertson.

Robertson, 22, is accused of fatally shooting 25-year-old Aaron Wornum in June of 2011 in Dorchester. On Thursday, he sat quietly next to his attorney while prosecutors spent nearly an hour entering pictures of his alleged victim’s blood-stained clothing into the court record.

Several feet away from Robertson, Wornum’s family sat bunched together on a second-row bench. When Assistant District Attorney David Fredette placed a picture of Wornum’s bruised face – taken during his autopsy – on a projector screen, one woman burst into tears and ran out of the court.

She remained outside until Dr. Henry Nields, the city’s chief medical examiner, finished detailing the various injuries on Wornum’s body.

He was a young man,” Nields said. “He had three gunshot wounds to his body and blunt impact wounds to his head and upper extremities.”

Prosecutors have said that Wornum’s phone records show he spoke with Robertson not long before the shooting.

The two had planned to meet up on the night of June 26, 2011, according to a press release from the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. When they did, Robertson allegedly shot Wornum and stole a gold chain from him in front of several witnesses.

Nields said that a bullet appeared to have grazed the back of Wornum’s neck, indicating that the shooter fired at him from the side.

Two more bullets hit him in his right arm. One traveled through his body and damaged his spinal cord, likely paralyzing him, while the other severed the carotid artery in his neck, Nields said in his brief testimony.

Police arrested Robertson for the shooting on July 13, 2011.

Detective James Bowden, the officer who took Robertson into custody,  told the jury on Thursday that the Boston Police Department’s fugitive unit found him hiding under a pile of clothes in a squalid room two stories above his mother’s apartment on Arbutus Street.

It was probably the worst house I’ve ever been in in my entire life,” Bowden said of the apartment where he found Robertson.

It was just trash and maggots and babies crawling in it – and feces smell,” he added, eliciting gasps and groans.

Bowden said that when he reached into a pile of clothes stashed in a closet he felt a sweaty arm, and pulled out Robertson.

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