William Laycock, a Loudoun County farmer, testified in Loudoun Circuit Court yesterday that he received a frantic call on April 15 from a daughter of retired Army Col. William (Bull) Evans-Smith, who has been charged with strangling his 64-year-old wife at their farm.
"She hollered to me on my CB radio in my truck," said Laycock, who is a friend of the daughter, Lesleigh Cook. "She said, 'Something's happened to my mom, she doesn't answer me.' "
Laycock said he went to a telephone and called Crooked Run Farm, but got no answer. Then, he said, he asked a friend, Robert Brown, to accompany him to the estate off Rte. 725, which they reached between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
They entered the house through the kitchen door, saw an overturned table with a vase lying next to it, and "got a very bad feeling," Laycock testified on the second day of Evans-Smith's trial.
Brown testified that they found the body of Barbara Evans-Smith upstairs in her bedroom with pantyhose wound three times around her neck.
Laycock and Brown were among a succession of prosecution witnesses called to testify yesterday by Commonwealth's Attorney William Burch in an attempt to prove that William Evans-Smith, 64, "brutally murdered his wife and proceeded with a cold, calculated coverup."
Most of the 11 witnesses described what Loudoun County Sheriff John Isom called a "classic murder scene." Pictures of the house and bedroom were shown to the jurors, some of whom craned their necks to get a closer look.
Two other daughters of William Evans-Smith, director of American University's Foreign Area Studies, were sitting in the second row of the courtroom and cried softly when pictures of their mother were shown.
At one point, defense attorney Blair D. Howard cross-examined Sheriff Icom and demanded to know why William Evans-Smith, who was at his office when the body was found, was not told of his wife's death until 4 p.m., about nine hours after the estimated time of death.
Isom responded that two deputies were dispatched to the District of Columbia to inform him in person at his office on Wisconsin Avenue NW.
Howard also wanted to know why no fingerprints were taken at the estate. A Virginia State Police investigator said that four jewelry boxes were confiscated and sent to a lab for fingerprinting.
"We looked at the crime scene and it was obvious the jewelry boxes had been handled in some manner," the investigator said, adding that Mrs. Evans-Smith's robe and nightshirt were also tested and that traces of blood were found on her hand.
Testimony in the trial, expected to last two to three weeks, is scheduled to resume today in Judge Carleton Penn's courtroom in Leesburg.