Defense is objecting to a photo shown during Dr. Case’s testimony. Judge overrules.
Jury is called back but attorneys approach bench for a sidebar.
Glasgow begins redirect.
Glasgow trying to dispel notion Case only lectures to law enforcement.
The witness agrees that she and Dr. Jan Leetsma “have disagreements” about head trauma in children. But in this case, you both agree the cause of head trauma was a blunt object with a concentrated edge? “That’s correct.”
Prosecutor Glasgow now talking about rough sex and types of injuries one may sustain during it.
Attorney Goldberg begins re-cross.
She again states that the abrasions on Savio’s buttocks were ante-mortem. Then asked about Savio falling down the stairs in 1999. Objection – sustained.
Court is adjourned for the day.
Judge says he’s going to start holding court on Mondays now.
Goldberg now quotes from Dr. Spitz’s book which says that an injury to the head, involving only the skin, could cause unconsciousness. Dr. Case says she does not agree.
Dr. Case: “I don’t know if that’s rough sex; that probably happens every day” Goldberg: Maybe in your house, not mine.
“I see lots of people who bump into tables. They bump into things all the time. They do not have those kind of bruises on their body, those deep bruises We all bump into things. That is not a common experience, for someone to walk around with bruises like that.” You have no idea whatsoever where that bruise came from, or where it came from? “In my opinion, it’s an inflicted injury.” Do you know with 100 % certainty, with your crystal ball? Objection – sustained.
Talk of sectioning of brain and spine.
We’ve moved on from brain dissection without much of a question. Goldberg asking Dr. Case about bruising of Savio’s diaphragm.
One pathologist didn’t find bruising on diaphragm. Case: they didn’t examine it the way Dr. Baden and I did.
No further questions for Dr. Case from defense.
The jurors are excused from the courtroom. Judge: “We’ll take a five-minute break.” He then leaves the bench.
Atty Goldberg questions Dr. Case about “fat blaster” pills. Case says there’s really nothing herbal that will increase your metabolism.
Defense trying to get Dr. Case to testify about the fat blaster pills, raised metabolism and heart palpitations.
Goldberg: thickening of Savio’s heart valve was not noted in any of her medical records. Case: “That is only seen in an autopsy”
Goldberg now asking Case if she knows anything about Savio’s boyfriend’s claims of rough sex and easy bruising. She doesn’t.
Case testifies again that she believes the scrape on Kathleen’s buttocks was not made by the tub and was not created post-mortem.
Goldberg asking Case about Vasodilation: what happens to your body when you get into a hot bath.
Case: “Extremely unlikely” that Savio passed out due to Vasodilation.
Case: people with artery disease could pass out in a hot tub, Savio did not have cardiovascular disease.
Case: Also, you would wake up as soon as you fell, like a faint.
Defense Attorney Darryl Goldberg begins cross-examination of Dr. Case.
Defense questioning Case about her relationship with law enforcement. She testifies a lot, frequently for prosecutors, she says.
Case is incorporated for tax purposes, she says. Defense arguing that she wouldn’t continue to get work if she didn’t produce “results”
Defense questioning Case and her expertise in child abuse cases.
You’ve never lectured to the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, have you? “I’ve never been asked. I would be happy to do so.”
Because of your cozy relationship with prosecutors? Objection/Sustained.
The witness explains the single time she was not allowed to testify in a case. You were prepared to testify as to a cause of death without performing an autopsy? “Yes.”
Defense asking Case about other forensic pathologists who’ve come to different conclusions about manner of Savio’s death.
Case acknowledges respected pathologists she knows and/or has worked w/ disagree that Savio death was homicide. She specifically mentions doctors Jentzen, DiMaio and Leetsma.
Goldberg quotes from a neuropathology book by Dr. Leetsma, which disputes her theory of the horizontal laceration on Savio’s head. Case says she doesn’t disagree with anything he just read.
Atty Goldberg saying Case is testifying to things that weren’t disclosed, asking for her entire testimony to be stricken.
Defense argues that state was trying to have witness rebut defense, rather than make state’s case.
Burmila denies defense motion to strike Case’s testimony.
Witness had stated that Savio would have to fall three times and land three different ways to get those injuries. Judge instructs jury to ignore that remark.
Case: “My opinion is that it is a homicide. It is not a suicide or an accident.”
The judge calls a recess at this time, to allow the defense to prepare for its cross-examination of Dr. Case. He leaves the bench.
Glasgow continues direct examination of Dr. Case.
Case now talking about the cervical vertigo we heard about on Friday. Savio had no evidence of seizure or other neurological disorder.
What is cervical vertigo? Case: “The sensation of things spinning around you. The neck muscles are in spasm, and it disoriented the head.”
Is there any danger with that condition? Case: “There is no danger. It’s painful.” “There was no evidence she had a seizure disorder or any kind of neurological disorder.”
Case begins to describe bruising inside Savio’s chest that is not visible on the exterior. Motor vehicle accidents produce injuries similar to the bruises on Savio’s chest – objection. sidebar.
Case using laser pointer to show jury where Savio had bruising. They’re looking at photos of inside Savio’s chest.
Now looking at photograph of abrasion to Savio’s buttock. “Something rough has touched that area, or that area has touched something rough.” The tub surface couldn’t have caused abrasion on Savio’s buttocks.
Jury leaving courtroom again after defense objects to Dr. Case saying that there was no place on tub to cause Savio’s head injury.
Case says blood pattern in tub — ie no blood on the tub walls — does not suggest she hit her head, fell into water.
Case: Savio’s head injury wasn’t caused by a knife. It was caused by a blunt object with a concentrated edge.
The witness says that she wouldn’t expect the amount of force from just a fall in the tub to have caused a loss of consciousness. “A laceration is made by a blunt object. This is a blunt object.” ‘Did you see any such edge in the tub area, in the pictures that you saw?” “I did not.”
Objections as the witness testifies about the kind of surface could cause the injury, the lack of blood spatter and again when discussing what happens in the body when drowning occurs. Question about medication and another objection, sidebar, and jury is sent from the room. Recess.
Court is back in session.
Greenberg is arguing against Dr. Case giving any sort of opinion on Dr. Mitchell’s conclusions.
Dr. Case is back on the stand.
Case now detailing 2007 autopsy report from Dr. Blum.
Case: Blum took samples of bruising from Savio’s hip.
Case now talking about third autopsy done by Dr. Michael Baden.
Case: When a bruise is first made, it’s either purple or blue. Microscopic review of sample from lower left quadrant (the three deep bruises) showed it was blue — a fresh injury.
Case: “This is a large amount of force, going all the way down to the hip bone. It’s not just a minor little injury. It is significant…there are three separate forms of contact.”
Savio’s heart was healthy.
Case now using laser pointer to describe to jurors what she sees in photo of hemorrhage, laceration on Savio’s scalp.
Case describing what could cause that injury: “There was enough force to tear the tissue … it did not damage the bone.”
After whatever force struck her head, tearing the skin, what happened to that force? Case: “The force was dissipated…it entered into the galea, but not all the way through. So the force was dissipated.”
Case: Savio had no damage inside her head, no injury to brain. Hemorrhaging was on surface of skull, scalp.
Dr. Case is asked about manner of death when there is an objection.
Prosecution asks for a sidebar and the jury is excused.
Goldberg is objecting, argues that the prosecution is asking the witness to speculate about what a specific portion of Dr. Mitchell’s autopsy protocol may mean. (He is referencing the part where Mitchell says the head injury may have been due to a fall.)
Judge says that the witness can mention it, but isn’t free to venture an opinion on what Mitchell may have meant when he wrote the statement.
Witness back on the stand. She is asked about the five manners of death. Case: “We have natural, accident, suicide, homicide, and unexplained.”
Prosecution: Were any of those mentioned in Dr. Bryan Mitchell’s autopsy protocol? Case: “no.”
Court in recess until 1:15 p.m. CDT.
Judge back in court. Jury back in court.
Judge has copy of Wilson VS Clark. Dr. Case can rely on reports of other individuals.
Judge tells the jury to disregard the names Case mentioned in drawing her conclusion.
Dr. Case shown photo. She IDs it as Savio in the bathtub. She’s describing post-mortem changes, blood in tub.
In another photo, Case describes that the items around the tub aren’t knocked over.
Case says she examined Dr. Mitchell’s report and would classify it as normal.
Savio’s brain weighed 1,140 grams. Aside from edema (swelling), Case says Savio’s brain was “normal.”
Case says she saw in Dr. Mitchell’s protocol some “mild thickening” in one of the valves of Savio’s heart. She says that is not uncommon for a woman of Savio’s age. Savio died of drowning.
On the stand: Dr. Mary Case. She’s a head trauma expert.
Case says she’s done about 11,000 autopsies during her professional career.
Case: “I’ve been doing brain cuttings since 1975. I’ve looked at thousands and thousands of brains.”
Case said she reviewed 3 autopsy records related to Savio’s death, as well as depositions & opinion letters from several doctors involved.
Sidebar and jury and witness are excused from room.
While listing the research she did for this trial, Case names some doctors who will not be called to testify. Burmila: “What are we going to do about that?”
Judge leaves the bench while prosecution looks for case-law.
Jury still not in. Now attorneys discussing if Savio photos (head trauma, chest cavity) will be seen by jury.
One exhibit will be allowed and another is not.
Discussion of a video. Judge and defense say they have not seen it in its entirely, but prosecution says it was sent to all parties.
Judge: “As far as the video in general the problem I have with it is it looks like a movie and I’m afraid it might confuse the jurors that it’s an actual movie produced as a result of this autopsy”. Video is not allowed.
Court is in session.
Attorneys are arguing about the admission of Jeffrey Pachter’s testimony. Pachter has testified before that he was offered $25k by Drew Peterson, to hire someone to kill Savio.
Defense argues that hit man testimony is too prejudicial.
Prosecutor: It is certainly relevant that just a few months before (her death) Drew Peterson is asking someone to “take care of” his wife.
Judge: “The issue is, did the defendant intend to kill his wife and this testimony goes to that issue. So the jury will be able to consider that and this evidence will be admissible.”
Judge Burmila allows hitman testimony. Jury about to be brought in.
This morning’s color choice for the jurors: Green
Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. On Friday Dr. Gene Neri, Kathleen Savio’s doctor from 1999-2002 testified about a stress-related condition called “cervical vertigo” that Savio suffered from at that time. He testified that he treated it with the anti-depressant Zoloft and the sleep-aid, Lorazepam, but he didn’t know anything about her health or mental state after 2002. He testified that cervical vertigo might make one feel unsteady but not to actually fall.
Stacy Peterson’s friend and flirt-mate, Scott Rossetto was called to the stand. He had testified at the Grand Jury and at a pre-trial hearing that Stacy told him her secret: On the night that Kathleen Savio died, she saw Drew return to their home and load women’s clothing into the washing machine. He told her that if anyone asked about his whereabouts, he was home with her. Rossetto was on the stand only briefly before the objections began to fly and he was eventually barred as a witness due to a conflict about the dates involved with the testimony and inconsistent stories. He was released and free to return to Germany where he is currently serving with the U.S. Army.
Joseph Steadmanm, an insurance claim adjuster, then testified about Drew Peterson telling him that Savio’s death was possibly due to a drug overdose. Then Jennifer Schoon, one-time girlfriend of Peterson’s son, Steven, testified as to what she saw and heard the night Kathleen died. She and Steven were living in the basement of Peterson’s house at that time.
As always, I’ll have my eyes and ears open and will be posting updates. Check back throughout the day for the latest news and don’t forget to check the comments thread.