Capital murder trial of Jeffrey Weisheit underway - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Capital murder trial of Jeffrey Weisheit underway

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Jeffrey Weisheit is accused of killing his girlfriend's kids by setting their house on fire with them inside. Jeffrey Weisheit is accused of killing his girlfriend's kids by setting their house on fire with them inside.
5-year-old Caleb Lynch and 8-year-old Alyssa Lynch were killed during a house fire that Jeffrey Weisheit is accused of starting. 5-year-old Caleb Lynch and 8-year-old Alyssa Lynch were killed during a house fire that Jeffrey Weisheit is accused of starting.
These pictures are being used as evidence during the trial. The picture on the left is the aftermath of the fire, the picture on the right is during the fire. These pictures are being used as evidence during the trial. The picture on the left is the aftermath of the fire, the picture on the right is during the fire.

The capital murder trial of Jeffrey Weisheit is officially underway. 

Weisheit allegedly lit his girlfriend's home on fire, killing her two young children inside back in April 2010.

In the opening statements, the state called two witnesses, both of which were Vanderburgh County Sheriff Deputies who were on the scene in the early morning hours of April 10. 

Sgt. Clark testified that the initial run was a possible child abduction, but quickly turned into a double homicide case.

Deputy Andrew Norris testified that this fire was the biggest he had ever seen. The heat could be felt at neighboring homes. He called the scene controlled chaos, neighbors claiming that Weisheit's car wasn't in the driveway, but they didn't know if that meant the house was empty.

Deputies say they put out a BOL on Weisheit's yellow Camaro and said no one could reach him on his cell phone. Sgt. Clark testified that he contacted On Star to help locate Weisheit, but On Star was not cooperative at first. After the car was located, the car had already been moving and Boone County Deputies had to be notified.

Deputy Norris and Sgt. Clark were both on scene when the first body was discovered and when Lisa Lynch was told that the body, was that of one of her children.

The state says they trust that the jurors will be able imagine, many of them parents, how it would feel to learn your child is no longer missing, but is dead.

The defense warned the jurors that they would see and hear horrible facts about the deaths of the two kids before telling them that Weisheit was deeply depressed, and admitted that Weisheit duct taped 5-year-old Caleb Lynch while 8-year-old Alyssa Lynch was asleep, giving him time to run.

The Assistant Fire Chief with German Township would testify that the source of the fire burned up and that it is common in fires that burn as long as this one did. He also told jurors they would hear testimony from a pathologist that a road flare was found in the waistband of Caleb's underwear and burned his leg while he was alive.

The mother of the two children, Lisa Lynch, was not inside the home during the time of the fire.

Lynch was on the stand for about 25 minutes before needing a short break. Our reporter in the court room says that she was visibly shaking and sobbing as she recalls the night the tragic event took place. Lisa held her hand on the side of her face during her entire testimony, to avoid eye contact with Weisheit.

Lynch testified that she was working the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift on the night of April 10 and left her children with Weisheit, as she normally did. 

She says sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight, she talked to Weisheit on the phone. She says he told her that he was sorry that the children has fallen asleep on the couch watching a movie and he had just put them to bed.

The next phone call she received was her neighbor calling to tell her Weisheit's home was ablaze. The defense has said repeatedly that Weisheit did not set the fire and without arson, there were no murders. But the defense does acknowledges that Weisheit made two critical errors. 

"The two tragic mistakes are duct taping the child and getting a head start out of town, and the second one was running from police. The second one is tragic for him, the first one tragic for the children," says defense attorney Mike McDaniel. 

The jurors were visibly disturbed when the fire chief showed them photos of Caleb's body. The chief said it took eight hours and the use cadaver dogs to locate Alyssa's body, curled up in a closet.

The state got through five witnesses on Monday and has about 25 more to go. The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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