The double murder trial of two elderly women concluded its second day on Wednesday. They're accused of running down two homeless men to collect insurance money. Evidence was presented Wednesday that one of the victims was drugged.
In an alley off Westwood Blvd., a body was discovered: a dead man, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run accident.
Yet Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court, details emerge of a far more sinister scenario.
The man, 51-year-old Kenneth McDavid had been cared for by two women, Olga Rutterschmidt and Helen Golay, who ultimately collected $2.8 million from insurance claims on McDavid and another homeless man.
But who was actually behind the wheel of the 1999 Mercury Sable station wagon that ran down McDavid, and why were his injuries so unusual?
The prosecution presented evidence that there was no trauma to his lower legs, and that he was laying flat on his back on the pavement when he was struck.
The lab director from the coroner's office testified that McDavid had a powerful mixture of prescription drugs in his system: a sedative, pain medicine and a high dose of an anti-convulsive drug that also causes sleepiness.
The prosecution links McDavid's death to a silver station wagon seen entering the alley at 11:45 p.m. Nine minutes later someone made a phone call to the American Automobile Association (AAA) from a Chevron gas station a block from the scene.
The car's fuel line was broken.
A triple-A representative presented documents that the caller used the name of the defendant Helen Golay and her identification number.
Luis Jaimes, the tow truck driver, testified he picked up the car and the driver, a Caucasian woman over 40. He towed the car to a location near 5th and Ocean Park in Santa Monica. It is the address of Helen Golay.
Prosecutors say it was the 75-year-old grandmother who personally ran over Kenneth McDavid. The tow truck driver testified that no one else, including co-defendant Olga Rutterschmidt, was with the car that night.
Testimony continues Wednesday. Experts from the California Highway Patrol will lead the jury through a high-tech re-enactment of how they believe the collision happened.
The defense deferred opening statements until the prosecution side of the case concludes.
If convicted, the women could face life in prison.