Tatem Murder Trial: Day 2 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tatem Murder Trial: Day 2

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WICOMICO COUNTY, Md.- The trial continued Tuesday for 35-year-old Paul Tatem who is accused of killing 72-year-old Donald Mariner inside Mariner's home on Pemberton Drive just outside of Salisbury last spring.

Police said Mariner was found dead inside his home in the early morning hours of April 16th, 2014.  Tuesday, Mariner's housemate, Creston Pumphrey, took the stand to give his account of the crime.  Pumphrey testified that he was also assaulted in the incident.

Pumphrey told the jury he was woken up on April 16th by the sounds of Mariner struggling to breath.  When he went down the hall to check on Mariner, Pumphrey says he was met by someone wearing a mask and hooded sweatshirt swinging a baseball bat in the hallway.  Pumphrey says he was hit in the shoulder, hip, and four times in the head with the bat.

Along with Pumphrey, an auctioneer testified Tuesday who said he helped Mariner sell a large portion of his gun collection.  The crime scene technician also testified on day two of the trial.  The forensic expert from Maryland State Police described her process of collecting evidence and taking photographs of the crime scene.  Many of those bloody photographs were shown to the jury on Tuesday.

Numerous officers testified on Monday that Mariner was found covered in blood inside a bathroom in the home.  When officers first arrived, Mariner was still alive but gasping for air.  Testimony on Monday revealed Mariner was pronounced dead around 1:30 that morning.  The prosecution told the jury during opening arguments that Paul Tatem is responsible for the crime and that Tatem broke into the home and assaulted Mariner with a baseball bat in the head and face.

It took police over two months to make an arrest in the case.  Tips from the public combined with forensic evidence led police to Tatem who was arrested on July 1st, 2014.

Tatem is facing charges of 1st and 2nd degree murder along with attempted 1st and 2nd degree murder.  Police said Mariner's housemate was also assaulted during the incident but survived the attack.

However, during the opening arguments for the defense on Monday, Tatem's attorneys said they were going to show that Tatem was never even at the scene on April 16th, and that it was Tatem's girlfriend who is responsible for the crime.  The defense said Tatem's girlfriend's DNA was on a key that was found in the back door of Mariner's home on April 16th.

The trial is expected to continue until Wednesday.  Tatem's girlfriend is expected to take the stand.  No word yet if Tatem will take the stand in his own defense in Wicomico County. 
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