Kostka’s DNA was under victim Barbara Coyne’s fingernails, expert testifies

Relatives, law enforcement agents and experts testified this week during the trial of Timothy Kostka, an alleged heroin addict who is accused of killing 67-year-old Barbara Coyne in her South Boston home in April of 2012.

Kostka, now 30, is being charged with first degree murder in Coyne’s death. Coyne, who was a retired nurse and grandmother, died after her throat was slashed on the morning of April 16, 2012.

Prosecutors allege that Kostka, who knew the Coyne family well, was searching for expensive fishing gear that Richard Coyne owned. Instead, he found Barbara Coyne in her

Last week, Barbara Coyne’s son Richard testified about finding his mother bleeding profusely in her bedroom. Earlier this week, Barbara Coyne’s granddaughter Sinead, who lived on the first floor of the triple-decker home on East Seventh Street, described walking into her grandmother’s room and seeing her “laying in a pool of blood on the floor.”

Prosecutors say Kostka, who knew the Coyne family well, was allegedly looking for expensive fishing gear Richard Coyne, an avid fisherman, owned. Clyne testified that Kostka had even called him earlier that morning about where he could sell it.

Instead of gear, however, Kostka found Barbara Coyne, allegedly ransacking her jewelry box and a coin jar. He slashed her throat using a dull knife, then stole winning lottery tickets from another room in her home.

A Boston police sergeant testified that when he and another officer arrived at the scene, Coyne was able to provide them with a partial description of her assailant.

She said he was a white man who was taller and younger than her son Richard, and was wearing a white t-shirt.

On Wednesday, Kostka’s defense team spent the entire morning cross-examining  Boston Police Sergeant John Foley about the crime scene, and about the lottery tickets Kostka allegedly cashed at Jimmy’s Korner store.

Other witnesses who have testified during the trial include associates of Kostka’s,  including one man who testified that the pair would get high on heroin together, and Kostka would often bring stolen items instead of money to pay for drugs.

Multiple experts have also testified in the case, including a security investigator at the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, as well as technicians who analyzed fingerprints and DNA related to the case.

Police criminalist Joseph Ross testified that he found two different people under Coyne’s fingernails. One was likely her own, Ross testified, and the other was a match to Timothy Coyne.

The trial will continue Monday. Jurors could begin deliberating as early as next Wednesday.

Matthew Tota, Mackenzie Nichols, Aren LeBrun, Meredith Gorman, Janine Eduljee, Pranav Temburnikar and Aneri Pattani contributed to this report. 

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