3.08.2009

Murder trial continues for Groh

☛ TS Murder trial continues for Groh 2/12/09
Sean Garmire/The Times-Standard
Posted: 02/12/2009 01:16:42 AM PST

Rodney Groh, a 55-year-old Eureka man accused of killing his long-time friend and roommate, entered the third day of trial Wednesday, as police and a coroner testified about the scene of George Giguere's death.
Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin has alleged Groh killed Giguere on the night of May 22 during an argument at the Budget Motel, where the two lived together in room 117.
Eureka Police Sgt. Steve Watson testified he responded to the scene of Giguere's death, to find Groh pacing outside the room.
Watson said Groh told him he and Giguere had been in a fight with two unknown men in the parking lot near the room. After the fight, Groh said they returned to the room, where Giguere passed out from his injuries.
Groh said they had been assaulted by the two men and fought back in self-defense, but Watson said when he questioned Groh further about the incident, he was unable to give descriptions of the alleged assailants, or say exactly where the fight took place.
”He was very vague and unable to give specifics,” Watson said.
Officers went to the parking lot and using flashlights searched the ground twice for evidence of a fight, but found “absolutely none,” Watson said.
Watson said he almost immediately noticed blood drying on Groh's hands, but he did notice any on his face.
Groh, Watson said, was considered a suspect at that point in the investigation. He was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County jail.
Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Charles Comer also testified at the trial, explaining he found bruising, abrasions and blood covering Giguere's body. Comer's testimony ended with the recess, but he will return to court when the trial resumes. Groh's trial is expected to continue Friday, but may be delayed due to maintenance issues in the courthouse.