Witness DiMaio off the stand and judge tells state to call its next witness.
The judge is back on the bench. He sends for the jury.
Defense calls ISP special agent Robin Queen. She’s been on the force for 11 years & special agent for 7 yrs.
At one point, she interviewed earlier witness Kristin Anderson. “She had lived for a short time with Kathleen Savio.” “Did she ever indicate to you anything about Kathleen Savio having a knife?” “No.”
Queen steps down; defense calls Bridget Bertrand, captain with ISP
Bertrand says she spoke by phone with Kristin Anderson re: a call Anderson made to ISP HQ in 2004.
Bertrand: no officers at ISP HQ recalled speaking to Anderson.
Trial in recess until morning.
SA Glasgow’s cross-examination begins.
“There’s a board certification for neuropathology?” “That’s correct.” “And you don’t currently hold that certification?” “That’s correct.”
DiMaio says Dr. Mitchell made one mistake in report: took photo of bruise on breast but didn’t comment on it in report. Otherwise report OK.
DiMaio: No way Savio’s head injury could have been post-mortem. Damage requires blood pressure.
“But once you start the drowning process, a person’s heart could continue to beat for quite some time?” “That’s possible, yes.”
Glasgow: Di Maio co-authored book that says, “basically healthy adults don’t drown in the bathtub.”
DiMaio: 15% of those who slip/fall in tub are ppl not under the influence. 20% of those who slip/fall are. “Alcohol helps,” he says.
Jury sent out of room after Glasgow asks hypothetical question about Savio being hit on head during/after intentional drowning
Glasgow can’t ask about the scenario in which a person is pulled under water by their feet/ankles.
“In your book, you suggest that smooth surfaces tend to produce irregular, Y-shaped injuries?” “Yes, that’s right, they tend to.” The witness is then shown a photo from one of his books, showing a laceration caused by a blow from a baseball bat. “That type of laceration is very similar to the one on Kathy Savio’s head?” “That’s right . . . but it just depends; there’s variations.”
DiMaio says he also charges $400/hr. He’s made $7200 on this case plus additional $4k for work today, yesterday. “I have the bill right here.”
No further questions for DiMaio from Glasgow. Awaiting re-direct…
DiMaio says he’s reviewed materials pertinent to Savio case: photos, autopsy reports, docs’ records, interviews, letters, testimony…
DiMaio “I concluded that the death was an accident, due to slipping in the bathtub, and striking the back of the head…”
DiMaio testifies that Savio’s injuries are due to her falling on the left side of her body.
DiMaio on Savio body position: “you have a slick surface, covered with water, you have somebody who is longer than the tub…so when you fall into the tub…the sides of the tub, tend to guide the body down..”
DiMaio believes Savio fell as she was getting out of the tub.
Di Maio: when a person gets up out of hot bath water they could feel dizzy, which could contribute to a fall
Witness says that shampoos and soaps could make the tub surface more slippery
DiMaio: with hard strike to head, you “either lose consciousness for a short time or you’re sort of stunned.”
DiMaio reiterating what Jentzen previously said: Savio died too quickly for microscopic brain damage to later be evident.
DiMaio says he has no doubt that Savio drowned by accident after reviewing reports.
State asks for a moment before starting cross, jury sent out, brief recess.
DiMaio echoes what Jentzen said earlier. Jurors paid attention, took notes.
In pretrial hearings, Jentzen testified that Savio hit her head first; not her hip, which he testified today.
No further questions for Jentzen. Defense about to call next witness.
As Jentzen leaves courtroom, Judge Burmila asks him to leave copy of a scholarly paper he wrote on frustrations from dealing with lawyers.
Dr. Vincent DiMaio called to the stand.
He is questioned by Ralph Meczyk. Begins to give background and qualifications.
DiMaio is a textbook author and the author of several scientific papers & letters.
DiMaio says he’s performed approximately 9,000 autopsies and supervised approximately 25,000 more.
DiMaio says drowning by bathtub isn’t very common, but he estimates he’s done about 2-3 autopsies per year in such cases.
The State waives cross-examination, and so DiMaio is qualified as an expert witness.
Connor: “I just want to be clear. The witness has testified that he has reviewed a transcript of Dr. Mitchell.” Judge: “If you lay a foundation that he reviewed Dr. Mitchell’s testimony, then he can go into that.”
Jury is called back in
Jentzen says he relied on Dr. Mitchell’s “objective findings,” not Mitchell’s opinion, in forming his own.
Jentzen concedes on cross that there was no pathological evidence of head trauma, but said there would not need to be
Dr. Jentzen maintains accidental fall in tub could have knocked Savio unconscious by causing a concussion.
“It’s possible” injury on Savio’s arm was a defensive injury.
“You have previously testified that the head injury, the head impact would have occurred first?” “I don’t recall.”
Jentzen says he believes Savio hit her hip first, then her head and the head blow caused her to lose consciousness.
Jentzen said fall landing on hip would absorb “some” of the impact. Previous testimony he said first impact area would absorb “most.”
“You indicated basically a total of three bruises . . . in fact, there were eight in Dr. Mitchell’s report. Would that be a fair statement?” “I don’t recall the statement.”
Jentzen says he’s paid about $400/hr for his testimony/research. Says he’s made about $8,000 from this case.
Court is back in session, jury being brought in
Ralph Meczyk informs the Court that he has a few more questions he’d like to ask Dr. Jentzen, so the direct examination will continue.
Jentzen is being questioned about the small wound on Savio’s buttocks. He doesn’t consider it an abrasion.
Jentzen believes abrasion to Savio’s left buttocks was a “drying artifact” caused from pruning, being in the water filled tub
ASA Connor begins cross-examination. Witness Jentzen acknowledges that “it’s possible” Savio was killed. “Anything is possible,” he says.
The witness is asked about a demonstrative. “In this demonstrative, this individual’s legs are not enclosed in any sort of conical bathtub?” “Correct.” “So this bears absolutely no relation to the bathroom Kathleen Savio was found in?” “No, it’s just a person falling.” “So it has absolutely no relation to this case?” “I think it shows an individual who’s falling.” “On a flat surface, with nothing around them?” “Yes.”
Sidebar and discussion about the use of the word “testify” in regards to Bryan Mitchell’s testimony at Grand Jury.
Court on lunch break until 1:15 CST
For updates from this morning but please check the comment thread.
Thank you to HarleyJoey, CherylJones, Oxymoran, Lostacres and everyone else who pitched in yesterday with updates. You are the best!