December 20th, 2011
06:03 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: A case of murder or suicide?

Warren Horinek is in a Texas prison serving a 30-year sentence for killing his wife, Bonnie, in Fort Worth, Texas in 1995. Horinek says his wife's death was a suicide. Of course, prisons are full of people who say they’re innocent, but what makes this case much different is the state prosecuting attorney originally assigned to the case, and one of the investigating officers at the crime scene, believes suicide was the likely cause of death.

So how could Horinek be tried for a crime the prosecuting attorney thought was more likely a suicide? A judge appointed private attorneys to prosecute the case, because Texas law allows them to pursue prosecutions. Those attorneys hired blood stain specialist Tom Bevel, who is a sought-after expert for prosecutors and defense attorneys. Bevel testified that blood found on Horinek’s T-shirt was most likely caused by blood spatter from being near the weapon when it was fired.

Other blood stain experts who have examined this case say it’s more likely that the blood came from Horinek administering CPR to his dying wife.

The controversy surrounding this case centers on which blood stain analysis is correct. In a 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences said “uncertainties associated with bloodstain pattern analysis are enormous.”

Anita Zannin of AZ Forensic Associates has worked on this case since 2005. She showed us how she came to her conclusion that the blood stain was from Horinek administering CPR. Zannin used a pig’s heart donated by Marsh Mill Ranch, expired human blood from Upstate New York Transplant Services, and a sculpted torso donated by Forensic Body. You'll hear from her and see the test tonight during Gary Tuchman's full report on AC360 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

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