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Bolin stepbrother to testify today

The state continues to build its comprehensive case against convicted murderer Oscar Ray Bolin Jr.

Detectives, medical examiners and experts of all types testified Wednesday about the killing of Teri Lynn Matthews, a 26-year-old Land O'Lakes woman whose body was found in the woods of Gowers Corner in December 1986.

Phillip Bolin, Bolin's stepbrother and a key prosecution witness, was scheduled to testify Wednesday but instead will do so this morning. Assistant State Attorney Michael Halkitis told Circuit Judge Stanley R. Mills he wanted first to reconsider just how important that testimony would be.

Mills also expressed concern on that issue. He said focusing on that testimony might confuse the jury enough to make a verdict extremely difficult.

In testimony given Wednesday only in front of Mills, prosecutors and Bolin's public defenders, Phillip Bolin related an incident he said happened the day after Thanksgiving 1986.

Phillip, who was 13 at the time of the murder, said he and Oscar Ray Bolin were driving outside a bar near where he lived. They saw a woman jogging along the side of the road.

"He pulled over and asked if she wanted a ride," the younger Bolin said.

The woman refused. Phillip said Oscar Ray Bolin later told him that the way to handle women who say no was to "go out and get a gun and get her." The elder Bolin added that "he used to go out and do that all the time," Phillip said.

Bolin was convicted last year in the murders of Natalie Blanche Holley and Stephanie Collins. He abducted and killed them, then dumped their bodies in the woods of north Hillsborough County.

Much of the testimony Wednesday served to draw connections among the three murders. Jurors heard from:

Sgt. Gary Kling, a Pasco County sheriff's detective, who was assigned to the task force that investigated Matthews' death.

Mark Thomas, a manager with Cooper Tire and Rubber of Ohio, who was asked to evaluate plaster casts of tire tracks found at the crime scene.

Dr. Peter Lardizabal, the former chief medical examiner for Hillsborough County, who examined Stephanie Collins' body and determined that she died, as Teri Lynn Matthews did, of "blunt head trauma."

The case continues at 9:30 a.m. today.

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