Because I was unavailable to return Gazette reporter Maria Sanchez's fact-checking phone call, and because some readers of the Gazette report raised questions about the nature of the evidence that was altered, I'm using this space tonight to set a couple of things straight.
First, the trial record is clear regarding the "argument over a stripper," and it shows that the initiator of that argument was Brad Ogill, and we know that from Orgill himself--from his sworn testimony at the trial. A longer segment of his testimony from the trial transcript is available online, but here's the soundbite:
A. I made a comment saying, you know, "That was disrespectful. You shouldn't talk to ladies like that."
Q. Okay. And then what happens?
A. There was kind of like -- I'm not sure if there was, you know, direct pushing, but kind of a getting in each other's face, heated atmosphere.
Second, the deposit on the knife was more than a "black spot." The section of Detective Richer's report of his examination of the knife, November 20, 2009 describes it this way:
Closer examination of the blade itself would indicate various forms of debris and material along the cutting surface, specifically from the serrated edge back toward the hilt. Some of this debris in the latter area appears to be from a liquid state. I then turned the knife over to where I could readily observe the down side (pocket clip side) of the knife. From this perspective, I noted the pocket clip of the knife to also have the word "Bench Made" embossed on it, and "USA" underneath. The pocket clip itself is anchored to the hilt end of the handle. Upon examining the blade itself, I noted the same scratch/scaring pattern along the length of the blade, as earlier observed on the other side of the knife. Again additional areas of debris were notated, again with the higher concentration along the serrated edge and gaining in density as it moved closer to the hilt of the knife.