Nov. 16—GRAND FORKS — As Carla Falcon waited for law enforcement to arrive at the scene of her neighbor’s death, she noticed what appeared to be blood underneath the fingernails of Kindi Jalloh, who’d been living with her neighbor — Douglas Elgert — at the time.
“Why do your hands have blood on them?” she recalled asking Jalloh that day, according to her testimony on Thursday, Nov. 16, the second day of Jalloh’s jury trial for murder and tampering with evidence at the Grand Forks County Courthouse.
“He said, ‘I got a bloody nose,'” Falcon testified. “I turned around and bent forward, and I looked in his nostrils, and there was no dried blood in his nostrils. At all.”
When the state asked Falcon if she asked Jalloh any more questions, she said yes.
“I just asked him, ‘Are you sure that you don’t know what happened?'” she testified. “He said, ‘I would never hurt Doug. I wouldn’t do that.”
Falcon was one of seven witnesses who testified during the second day of trial,
including one witness who began testimony toward the end
of the first day.
Four neighbors have testified in the case, and they’ve given conflicting statements as to who was where and when that morning, May 24, 2022, when Elgert was found murdered in his apartment.
What’s clear, though, is that Elgert was attacked with two weapons: a blunt force object and a sharp object, presumably a knife, according to testimony from Dr. Kevin Whaley, the medical examiner who completed Elgert’s autopsy on May 25, 2022.
Elgert suffered a stab wound to his finger, which is consistent with usual defensive wounds, according to Whaley’s testimony and autopsy photos shown to the jury. He had incised wounds, which occur from slashing rather than stabbing, to the side of his head, ear, forehead, and between the eye and nose. He suffered a stab wound through his eyelid into the soft tissue about the eye. He also had a stab wound in the chest, about three-quarters of an inch deep.
Those wounds were not fatal, including the chest wound, but it’s likely that the attacker wouldn’t know that, Whaley testified.
What killed Elgert was blunt force wounds to the head and neck. When Elgert’s head was struck, it caused his neck to hyperextend, fracturing bones in his neck and damaging his spinal cord. More bones were fractured in his face.
It could not be determined how long Elgert was deceased before his body was found. Whaley said it was longer than an hour but within 24.
Most of the blood found throughout Elgert’s apartment was dry, according to testimony from Det. Robert Starr, GFPD’s case agent in the investigation. He could not say how long it would’ve taken to dry.
Elgert, 67, didn’t often leave his apartment. All four of his neighbors who have been called to testify said the man struggled to get around and was usually sitting or laying on his couch in the living room.
One neighbor, Kyle Brown, had found it unusual that when he got home the previous night, Elgert’s TV was off. He usually fell asleep with it on, Brown testified. The next morning he woke to Jalloh pounding on his door, panicking and distraught, telling him something was wrong with Elgert.
Some testified that they’d heard Jalloh and Elgert arguing, and that Elgert had previously tried to kick Jalloh out. Others said they’d observed little to no issues between the two men.
Seventeen witnesses have testified so far in the trial, which continues Friday. The state expects to rest its case on Monday, Nov. 20, at which point the jury will go into deliberation.