Bowman motel murder trial begins

DICKINSON, N.D. - The state forensic examiner was the sixth person to take the stand during the Bowman Motel Murder trial. Suspects Chase Swanson and Madison West could face life in prison if convicted.

The state attorney's say they have more than 20 witnesses testifying in the murder trial of 23-year-old Nicholas Johnson, whose body was found at El-Vu Motel in August of 2016.

William Massello says when he conducted the autopsy on Aug 22, 2016, the body of Nicholas Johnson was brutally beaten.

The state showed photos indicating where Johnson had lacerations, broken bones, swelling, and bruising to his brain.

"What was also unique was that there was a broad brown leather belt around his neck with a belt buckle," said Massello.

The belt was put into evidence along with a flash light which forensic biologist Danielle Jardel says had fecal matter.

Wednesday was just the first day of witnesses rolling in to testify. The trial is expected to run well over next week.