BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Two sons testified in their mother's murder trial in Brevard County on Tuesday.
Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports Sheila Graham-Trott, now 48, faces a charge of first-degree murder for the killing of Kelly Brennan in February 2010. Brennan, a registered nurse, was in a relationship with Daniel Trott, a former Indialantic mayor. The Trotts had been separated for years.
In court, Linda MacRae dabbed her eyes as crime scene photos of her friend's bloody body were projected larger than life during the trial of her accused killer, Sheila Graham-Trott.
"I tried to look away," MacRae said.
"She was beautiful," MacRae said of Brennan, who died in February 2010. "She lit up a room. She was charismatic."
In 2001, when MacRae divorced, Brennan and her husband came to MacRae's home with cans of paint. They painted her bedroom in her favorite colors — painting her ex out of her life.
State prosecutors presented a series of photos to illustrate the crime scene, starting with bucolic aerial landscapes, transitioning to grotesque close-ups.
They called in the Brevard County Sheriff's Office helicopter pilot who found Brennan's body during a search. They showed photos taken from the chopper. The wide shots showed the waves near Mark's Landing in Melbourne Beach, a footpath, the area of brush where Brennan's body lay. At a lower altitude, a portion of Brennan's running shorts were visible.
BCSO chief pilot John Coppola testified he landed the helicopter nearby and ran to the body, thinking she might still be alive.
"It was quite evident from what I could see, the person had been struck in the head a number of times," he said.
A crime scene investigator narrated as photos were projected for the jury. Yellow police tape ringing the sand parking lot, the foot path, Brennan's legs sticking out from a stand of saw palmettos.
Then, Brennan on her back. Her stained sneakers, her heavily injured head, detail shots of her body.
"I could see that she had what appeared to be blood in her hair, and her hair was matted up," BSCO Crime Scene Investigator Candace Matthews said.
Matthews found blood on the ground leading through the foliage to Brennan. There was no sand on the bottom of her shoes, little on the back of her legs, more on her upper back. This suggests her legs were lifted off the ground and she may have been dragged by her feet.
Brennan was placed in a white bag with a medical examiner seal. She was number 0020406.
Graham-Trott's sons testified as part of the state's case against her.
Creighton Trott sat at an angle in the witness stand, facing away from his mother as he described how he came home from work one night after his brother called to say his mother had a seizure. They called paramedics and later took her to a hospital. In the middle of the night, she called out to them.
"Mom woke up, saying she had a dream that Kelly had been hurt," Creighton said.
He testified they drove with her to find a body near Mark's Landing.
The defense raised questions about her health and size — Graham-Trott stood about 5-foot-8 and weighed 115 pounds. They questioned her sons about whether she was covered in sand or blood and whether she smelled of cleaning chemicals that night.
They said she didn't.