The man accused of killing professional poker player Susie Zhao was in court Monday for a preliminary hearing and graphic testimony revealed she had been burned alive.
Jeffery Morris was in court Monday for a preliminary hearing on murder charges in the death of Zhao.
Her body was found in a parking lot in White Lake in July by two men passing by the area in a car. One of the men, Ronald Granville, testified he didn't think it was a real body.
"It was hard to tell if it was Halloween prank or mannequin that was burned," Granville said.
But it was the testimony by deputy medical examiner Dr. Andrew Hanosh that revealed she had her hair burned off, her tongue had been burned, and soot was found in her airway, leading to the horrifying conclusion she was alive while being burned.
"It was extensively burned. I would estimate at least 90% of the body's surface area," Dr. Hanosh said.
There was also extensive damage to the victim's genitals, Dr. Hanosh said, which was learned in August through court documents that revealed she had been bound with zip-ties and sexually assaulted before being set on fire.
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An FBI agent also providing testimony using a map to pinpoint phone records of Morris and the victim to show they had contact with one another
"They were in contact with each other, both utilizing that cell site," agent George Rienerth said.
The victim and Morris also stayed at the Sherwood Motel in Waterford, both in room number 7, but not at the same time. Phone records, however, revealed more information about them both.
"Cellular records consistent with travel from the geographical area of Sherwood over to the geographic area of the body location," agent George Rienerth said.
Morris, 60, was ordered bound over for trial on first-degree murder charges.
In the end, the judge ruled the prosecution had enough evidence and Morris to be bound over for trial.