NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — On the ninth day of the Joseph Belstadt trial, his attorney continued cross examination of retired Niagara County forensic chemist, Mark Henderson, which she began Friday.
Her line of questioning tried to show there isn’t enough evidence that he killed Mandy Steingasser as a teenager back in 1993.
Defense attorney Michelle Bergevin asked Henderson about his examination of several pieces of evidence, trying to show DNA doesn’t point to Belstadt.
Friday, Henderson testified two pubic hairs found in the vacuumings from the backseat of Belstadt’s car were consistent with Steingasser’s pubic hairs.
Since the beginning, prosecutors have said this is the evidence that led them to ultimately charge Belstadt.
Monday, Bergevin asked Henderson about several other items taken from Belstadt’s car, clothes taken from Steingasser’s remains, and evidence taken from Bond Lake Park, where her body was found.
Henderson testified Belstadt’s DNA wasn’t found on items that were sent for testing and blood wasn’t found on any items they examined.
Bergevin also asked about other hairs that were found but never conclusive. Henderson said he was focused on finding Steingasser’s hairs at that time.
Those two pubic hairs found in the backseat are prosecutor’s concrete evidence in the case.
Monday, Bergevin tried to show other DNA evidence wasn’t explored enough, asking Henderson whether they stopped looking into items if they didn’t lead to Belstadt.
Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.