Author Topic: Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13  (Read 5081 times)

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Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13
« on: July 09, 2013, 02:17:03 PM »
10:35 AM

Nelson asked GZ if his lawyers had told him they would avoid certain areas questioning VM, did GZ agree. Yes.

Defense team bringing in exhibits.

10:39 AM

Jury coming in.

Nelson asking if any jurors broke any rules. She's talking faster than usual.

10:41 AM

VM sworn.

West on direct. The usual, credentials and career.

VM describing what pathologists do. Back to his career.

VM was major in Army, at Walter Reed.

VM is editor of an international journal of forensice medicine.

VM going over how to package wet evidence. Standard practice, widely known for at least 30 years.

VM: He has published 4 books. One is about gunshot wounds.

VM: He has a strong interest in gunshot wounds.

VM: He has participated in 88 peer reviewed articles.

VM:  He has done 9 thousand autopsies, reviewed 27-28 thousand.

VM: Since 2007 he has been in private practice as a consultant, mostly working on civil cases.

VM: He began his research on firearms when he was in the military.

VM: Microflash photograpy, used for taking photos of bullets in flight.

VM: Gunpowder burns, doesn't explode.

VM: When a gun is fired in contact with clothing, escaping air and gas tears a hole ahead of the bullet.

Something about blunt force head trauma. I didn't catch it exactly, but it sounds like VM will be testifying about GZ's wounds as well as TM's GSW.

VM: He has testified in most states of U.S., in state and federal courts, Canada, Columbia in S. America, S. Africa, Israel.

VM: It's all in his CV, in more detail.

West showing VM his CV.

Bernie objected to entering CV, asked for sidebar.


I took a break. Multiple tweets say CV comes in.

VM: He has watched the reenactment.

VM: 2 most important things are autopsy report, including photos of wound, and report of firearms examiner.

VM: He has seen photos of GZ's wounds.

West takes forever to get a question out.

VM: Photos show contact discharge against clothing. Agree 100% with firearms examiner.

VM: 2x2 inch powder tattooing around wound. That is marks caused by powder grains impacting skin, only in living people. Opinion, muzzle 2-4 inches from body at time of shot.

VM prefers 'powder tattooing' to 'stippling', equivalent terms.

VM holds up photo of TM's GSW, uses it to explain his findings to the jury.

VM: He has done a lot of research on powder tattooing, whether it enables valid estimates of range. He experimented on living animals, concluded it is valid.

VM talking about the specific characteristics of the type of powder in the round TM was shot with. He knows what type from report of firearms examiner.

VM: If muzzle was pressed into TM's chest there would be a halo of soot around the wound, no powder tattooing because powder would have gone into the body.

VM: Bullet passed through 5th intercostal space, between 5th and 6th rib, going from TM's left to his right.

VM: GSW and tattoing are consistent with GZ's statement.

VM repeating familiar argument on gravity and clothing.

West showing beverage can to VM.

VM: Wet clothing is heavier. Can in pocket would also increase downward pull.

VM: Ability to move depends on oxygen in brain, reserve of 10-15 seconds. Any blood flow to brain increases that. Sometimes a gunshot victim doesn't know he's been shot.

VM: 2 holes in R ventricle, 1 or 2 holes in lung. TM's heart rate would be elevated from struggle, faster after he got shot.

VM: In all probability, TM dead 1-3 minutes after gunshot. (Heart death, not brain death. Heart not effectively pumping blood.) Conscious for shorter period, at least 10-15 seconds unless he psychologically 'blacked out'.

VM: In that 10-15 seconds, he would be able to put his hands under his body.

VM: Injury on finger of TM's left hand appears to be abrasion, could have come from hitting concrete.

VM: After punching, bruising may or may not occur, if it does occur may not be visible. Bruising requires blood pressure. It's caused by blood forced out through openings in blood vessels into tissue. TM would have lost BP quickly.

VM: Brain is like gelatin, it moves back and forth in cranium. Brain injuries include bruising, bleeding, axonal injury. Latter is when fibers connecting cells are stretched to point of injury by violent movement. Mild injury is self-repairing. More severe injury causes death of the fibers, which in large numbers causes impairment or death.

VM: When your head hits concrete, the concrete doesn't yield, your head yields.

VM: A blow to head that injures scalp will also stun. We all hit our heads all the time. How often do we get scalp lacerations?

West using projector to show SE 76, Manalo photo of GZ's head.

West showing SE 74, photo of GZ's head after blood cleaned off.

VM pointed out 2 injuries, said they are probably the lacerations. He pointed out 2 separate areas of swelling.

VM: Confident areas are separate, because of curvature of head and because of unswollen area between them.

VM: There two ways a head contacting a flat surface can cause a laceration. It can happen with straight impact compressing skin until it tears, or head dragging across surface.

West found a better photo, VM repeated his points using it.

VM: People rarely bleed to death from scalp lacerations, never from this type.

VM: Severe trauma to head can happen without external injury to scalp.
West showing pictures of GZ's head with projector, VM pointing out injuries with a laser pointer.

VM: Wagner photo of GZ's face shows injury to nose consistent with being punched.

VM: Comparing Wagner photo of GZ's face to photos taken later at police station, it looks like there was a displaced fracture of the nose, and one of the FD people consciously or unconsciously pushed it back into place.

VM: There is definite evidence of six injuries to GZ's head. There could have been more.

12:30 PM

Bernie asked for sidebar before cross.


12:33 PM

Recess for lunch, until 1:30 PM.

1:30 PM

Back on the record. VM taking the stand.

Jury returning.

Nelson asking if any jurors broke any rules.

Bernie on cross.

Dumb questions, asking VM if he didn't say a bunch of things he didn't say.

Q: Why did VM only review reenactment, not GZ's earliest statement?

I didn't understand VM's answer. I'm not sure it was more than 'because I did'.

VM: He didn't review Jeantel's statement.

Poor Bernie, thrashing like a fish on deck. My opinion.

Bernie said GZ 'armed with a flashight'.

VM inspected flashlight, said he wouldn't consider it a really dangerous weapon.

VM: He was not provided statements of Surdyka or Bahadoor, or statement of Good that said he didn't hear sounds of striking.

Bernie tried to discredit VM by insinuating his experiments were cruel to animals. Desperate.

VM: His fee is $400 an hour, same for GZ as his other clients. He's not making much for this case because it's not very complicated.

VM: If shooter pulls victim's shirt to one side, hole in clothes won't line up with wound.

VM: With one exception, injuries on GZ's face are contusions (bruises) not abrasions (scrapes). They are consistent with punches, not tree branches.

VM agreed that GZ's head injuries could have come from rolling on concrete.

VM: Medical people are interested in treating injuries, not documenting them. Injuries are usually poorly documented in medical records.

Bernie pressed VM on whether GZ's head injuries could have been caused by tree branches. He said they were caused by hard impacts, that's all he's ever said.

Bernie back on his notion that bald people bleed more profusely from scalp wounds. VM waved it off.

West on redirect.

VM: Eyewitness testimony is often discredited by forensic evidence.

VM: TM straddling GZ, as described by J. Good, consistent with forensic evidence at time of shot.

VM: For laceration on GZ's head to be caused by a tree trunk, he would probably have to be sitting with his back to it and be driven into it, multiple times. Concrete is more plausible.

VM: Police should have taken GZ to hospital, should always do that with head injuries. He might have dropped dead at police station, and they would have been sued and lost.

VM: Injuries to nose don't always bleed immediately.

VM: Absence of DNA means nothing without statistical data on how likely it would be for DNA to be there.

VM: What isn't there usually isn't significant.

VM: Rain, handling of TM's hands, would affect whethere anything was found on them. Pathologist should never leave a body once it comes in. He should inspect clothing before it is removed, supervise everything his assistants do.

West wanted to show VM autopsy and crime scene photos. Bernie objected. Nelson called sidebar, asked to see pictures.

West won.

VM: Photo of TM at scene shows blood running from GSW to nipple. Autopsy photo of his chest doesn't show that blood.

Bernie on recross.

Bernie pointed out TM's sweatshirt was pulled down again before the body was transported.

West on reredirect.

VM: That a witness didn't hear GZ's head hit concrete doesn't mean it didn't happen.

2:58 PM

VM excused.

Offline Meni

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Re: Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 02:59:38 PM »
Thank you!
I have not been able to access forums today at all.

Offline teresainpa

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Re: Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 05:42:32 PM »
Wow, thanks NN.  What did you do, keep a log and then post it here?  I was lucky to have seen this testimony today.  Di Maio was terrific. His dismissal of the testimony of several of the eye witnesses was my favorite part.  If their testimony does not match up with the forensic evidence then you just can not take their testimony in to account was his point. 
He has a way of explaining something so that you understand it without talking down to you like you were stupid. 

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 08:14:22 PM »
What did you do, keep a log and then post it here?

Yes. I was all set to live-blog. When the forum was down, I just did it into a Notepad file. Not all that different.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 08:21:44 PM by nomatter_nevermind »

Offline ding7777

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Re: Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2013, 09:39:36 AM »
Yes. I was all set to live-blog. When the forum was down, I just did it into a Notepad file. Not all that different.

Did you do one for Richard Connor (the phone guy) ? I don't see a a thread for him.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Dr. Vincent Di Maio, Defense Pathologist, 7/9/13
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2013, 11:42:55 AM »
Did you do one for Richard Connor (the phone guy) ? I don't see a a thread for him.

No, I knocked off for the day just before he came on.

By then the forum was up. There were a few posts about Connor on the Daily Trial Proceedings thread, starting here.


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