The first witnesses for the prosecution have taken the stand Tuesday in a Lincoln County murder trial.More >>
The first witnesses for the prosecution have taken the stand Tuesday in a Lincoln County murder trial. More >>
LINCOLN COUNTY (WAOW) -- A Lincoln County man was brought to tears Wednesday for the first time during his murder trial.
Mark Bucki, 50, cried after he heard an email his 48-year-old wife Anita sent to him before she went missing.
Bucki is accused of killing his wife and hiding her body in the woods about a year ago. He's pleaded not guilty to three felonies including first-degree intentional homicide.
Anita Bucki's remains were found in Taylor County. Prosecutors say she was stabbed seven times and strangled.
In court Wednesday, jurors heard a personal email Anita Bucki sent to Mark days before she went missing. In the email, Anita tried to persuade mark to save their marriage. She also wanted to save their family and make sure their son was okay. After hearing this, Mark Bucki cried in court for the first time, wiping tears from his eyes.
“I have been running scared, torn between the front I put on to you and the world and the scared girl inside of me that has been losing her one and only friend in the world that gives life meaning and happiness,” the email said. It was read on the stand by Matthew Oleson, a computer forensics expert.
Mark Bucki wrote back to Anita that their marriage was over, according to court testimony.
In other testimony, K9 cadaver officers that searched the Bucki home told jurors what their dogs found. One said his dog picked up odors, the strongest in Mark Bucki's truck.
“She moved into the garage, jumped up on her front paws, placed her entire head in the bed of the truck,” testified Solon McGill, a former Madison police officer who now works in Las Vegas.
But another dog didn't smell anything in the truck.
“She did not alert to the pickup truck in the garage, is that correct?” asked Bucki's defense attorney.
“That's correct,” replied McGill.
But the defense made the same argument for both officers. They said just because the dog smells something doesn't mean it's a dead body.
“At every location we don't know what she smelt, when that smell got there, how it got there,” the defense attorney said.
Also in court Wednesday, the forensic professor who performed an autopsy on Anita Bucki said the woman suffered seven traumatic wounds to her chest the day she died. Dr. Michael Stier also testified on the third day of a murder trial that Anita Bucki had wounds on her right hand, but says he couldn't say if they were defensive. Stier said Bucki was found in a long sleeve shirt and was also wearing a bathrobe. He noted in court Wednesday that the shirt had cuts on it but that the bathrobe did not. The doctor testified that a “single edged knife” caused the wounds on Bucki's chest. He said she was still alive, “still breathing,” when she was stabbed, but said he believes she was unconscious at the time. Court resumes Thursday morning. The trial is expected to last nine days.