Freshwater Day 16: Whose Arm?

There will be no extended report tonight. I have other commitments. I’ll post full reports of today’s and tomorrow’s testimony sometime over the weekend.

However, one major claim was made in testimony today. Ben Nielson, a classmate of Zachary Dennis, testified that the arm he saw in a newspaper picture which was identified as Zachary’s arm showing the injury, was not Zachary’s arm. Nielson testified that he saw a mark on Zachary’s arm shortly after the incident in December 2007, and the mark was significantly smaller than that in the picture and was on the inside of the arm rather than on the outside as the picture apparently shows.

Ben testified that when he saw the photograph in the newspaper, he exclaimed “That’s not Zach’s arm.” His father corroborated the account.

Neither Ben nor his father Mark, who also testified briefly, could remember when they saw the newspaper picture or which newspaper it was in. Zachary Dennis’ identity was not made public until October 4, 2008, on the first day of Freshwater’s termination hearing, while photographs of Zach’s arm were published considerably earlier without identification.

(If anyone in the comments can identify the date of the earliest news photo of Zachary’s arm, specifically identified as Zachary Dennis’ arm, in the Mount Vernon News or Columbus Dispatch I’d appreciate it.)