MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — Sixty dollars of makeup is being used to hide a Michigan defendant's forehead tattoos from a jury during his trial in the 2011 death of a 69-year-old woman.
Joseph Reiner picked up the tattoos while locked up after the attack. He showed up for a court hearing last year with the devil's horn tattoos that he apparently got from a fellow inmate. The tattoos weren't visible during jury selection Wednesday in Mount Clemens, The Macomb Daily reported (http://bit.ly/RMAua1 ).
Defense lawyer Timothy Barkovic said his client asked to hide the tattoos for the trial. Barkovic agreed with the move to reduce any negative impact that tattoos might have on juror perceptions. The makeup was purchased at a Sephora store at the upscale, open-air Partridge Creek mall in Clinton Township.
"As far as I'm concerned, they're unsightly tattoos," Barkovic said. "Scientific studies have shown that jurors look at a criminal defendant and make an initial observation within the first five minutes of the trial — that (the defendant) is probably innocent or probably guilty, and carry that through the length of the trial."
The makeup, as well as $117 in clothes for Reiner during the trial, will be included in Barkovic's court-appointed defense bill, the newspaper reported.
Reiner, 28, originally was charged with attempted murder and home invasion in the February 2011 daytime break-in and attack on Joanne Eisenhardt in Macomb Township. He was charged with murder after she died months later. The defense has argued that prosecutors can't prove Eisenhardt's death was caused by the stabbing.
The trial in Macomb County Circuit Court is expected to include about 20 witnesses. It's expected to take more than a week to complete.
Information from: The Macomb Daily, http://www.macombdaily.com