Testimony resumes in April Millsap murder trial

Posted at 8:13 AM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 17:42:02-05

Jurors in the James Van Callis murder trial Thursday got to see a 63-minute animated video of the path April Millsap's cell phone took around the time the 14-year-old Armada girl was killed last summer. Though the defense tried to refute GPS accuracy, it gave jurors a compelling argument about what happened July 24, 2014.

FBI special agent Matthew Zentz took the stand in Macomb Co. Circuit Court as he showed the video pulled from the Sports Tracker fitness app from April's phone. Prosecutors tried to build the case April was walking her dog, Penny, on the Macomb Orchard Trail when she was brutally attacked and murdered by 34-year-old James Van Callis.

The video animation showed April's phone entering the trail at walking  speed then about halfway through the animation, the phone stops and zig zags then speeds up - that's when prosecutors say April was attacked by Van Callis. Prosecutors say Van Callis beat April to death and sped away on his motorcycle with her phone and backpack.

Prosecutors contend Van Callis murdered April sometime between 6:30 p.m. and 6:44 p.m. on July 24, just minutes before she texted her boyfriend, "I think I almost got kidnapped," at 6:28 p.m.

Defense attorneys tried to refute GPS accuracy, and have argued no DNA links Van Callis to the murder.

Jurors were also expected to hear from Michigan State Police investigators and the man who found April's body.
The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.