The jury in the Bruce Mendenhall murder trial on Wednesday heard testimony from two detectives regarding the arrest as well as recorded conversations with the accused truck stop killer.
On the second day of witness testimony, Metro Police Department homicide detective Sgt. Pat Postiglione told jurors about his first encounter with Mendenhall in July 2007 after spotting his tractor-trailer near the TA truck stop where Sara Nicole Hulbert’s body was found on June 26 of that year.
After some conversation and spotting what he believed to be blood on the driver’s side door, Postiglione gained permission to look inside the cab of Mendenhall’s truck, and once inside he said he found more scattered drops of blood.
On the stand, Postiglione testified that he asked Mendenhall, “Is this the truck we’ve been looking for?”
To which the detective said Mendenhall shrugged before he was asked the same question again. Mendenhall shrugged once more and said, “If you say it is,” according to Postiglione’s testimony.
While in the truck, Postiglione found shoes with tread similar to markings found near Hulbert’s body and a .22-caliber rifle — the same type used to kill Hulbert.
Jurors also watched a video recording of Postiglione and detective Lee Freeman’s questioning of Mendenhall after he’d been read his rights.
At one point during the questioning, Mendenhall said, “All I know is, I disposed of her. Now you have to do your job.”
Later while Freeman was on the stand, the prosecution played segments from a few of about 116 phone conversations Mendenhall made while in jail that Freeman requested for the investigation.
In some of those conversations, Mendenhall is heard telling his now deceased wife, Linda Mendenhall, “If I don’t find some alibis, I’m dead.”
In another recorded phone call with his wife, Mendenhall said, “I’m up against a brick wall with no way to knock them down.”
More state witnesses are due on the stand Thursday morning.