[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
For §§ 1-110 (Chapters 1-18), see here.
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 118
Chapter 19 (8 of 13): Trial – Phase One
“The head wound, a very blunt blow causing the trauma, showed very little external bleeding, bleeding out. That is, the fact that very little blood was found externally in the hair and on the scalp indicates that the heart had stopped pumping almost immediately after the blow was delivered. The scalp is richly vascularized, and if she’d been alive for any length of time I would have expected much more blood around the wound.”
A kind of collective sigh of relief is heard.
“I see,” Kerzy said, stroking his upper lip with an index finger and laying his thumb along his jaw. Once again he is rocking slowly on his feet. “This wound, this ‘blunt blow causing trauma’ is how I believe you just characterized it, what could have caused that?”
“There are a number of possibility. Possibly a solid rounded object, maybe like a bat. A hammer, maybe a hatchet, but wrapped in a plastic-covered cloth or pad. The head was hit by some soft edged or rounded object.”
“Would it have required someone powerful to cause such a wound, someone using great force?”
“Objection,” Natalie is on her feet. “Calls for a conclusion.”
“I think that’s within the range of the expertise of this witness. I’ll allow it. Overruled.” Judge Lombard-Golde says to the doctor, “You may answer the question, sir.”
“Not necessarily. That part of the skull is not the thickest.”
“But it was not a blow by a bare hammer or some such tool?”
“No, the trauma to the skull does not display the splintering fracture around the edges that such a blow would have caused. It is more a blunt kind of wound, with the bone caved in rather than sharply slivered.”
“But in your estimation it was the blow to the head that caused death? Immediate death?”
“Yes,” he says, consulting his own autopsy notes. “As my formal report states, the ‘immediate cause of death was massive intracranial exsanguination as result of epidural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrage.’ In short, sustained internal bleeding of the brain within the skull sufficient to cause death.”
Kerzy walks over to his table and Buzulethi hands him a plastic specimen bag that appears to be empty. He makes a major production of walking back toward his witness and holding it up to the light, peering conspicuously at the invisible contents.
“Doctor,” he says, “I’d like to move on to another point, the physical evidence you found on the corpse. I am referring to the hairs you discovered.” He holds up the bag again and walks slowly along the jury box so they can now see from the closer distance that there are indeed hairs inside.
“Where did you find these hairs?”
“There were several hairs on the collar of the sweater the victim was wearing, and we also found more strands on other parts of the sweater.”
“Were these all the same hairs?”
“Objection, Your Honor. While we have the fullest confidence in Doctor Wendell’s medical skill and deep familiarity with forensic pathology, he has not been qualified here as an expert knowledgeable in the study and analysis of hairs and fibers.”
“Mr. Kerzy?” the judge asks.
“No matter, Your Honor, we have another witness who is so qualified and we will shortly call on his expertise.” He tried to make it sound as though this were no big deal. “We have no further questions of Dr. Wendell. Thank you, sir,” he says to the doctor. And struts back to his table.
“Does the defense wish to cross-examine this witness?” the judge asks.
“Yes, Your Honor, we do.”
“Very well, Ms. Siu, please carry on.”
“Thank you, Your Honor.” She walks up to the box and, yellow legal pad in one hand, stands at a respectful distance from the witness. “Doctor, you said in your previous testimony, and I cite you here, ‘the head was hit by some soft edged or rounded object’.”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“Is it possible that rather than the head having been hit by such an object that the head fell against such an object, as in a person falling and hitting her head on a table or some other object?”
“Objection, Your Honor.” Kerzy is almost dancing at the prosecution table. “Asks for a conclusion?”
“He’s your own expert witness, Mr. Kerzy. You’ve opened this door very wide. Objection overruled!”
The D.A. is not happy, but he flops back in his chair.
“Doctor?” Natalie prompts.
“Yes, that is quite consistent with the nature of the trauma.”
“Thank you, Doctor. We have no further questions, Your Honor.”
“Mr. Kerzy, the People’s next witness?”
“Yes, Your Honor. The People call Joey Sung to the stand.”
Joey Sung enters the expectant courtroom and walks down to the witness stand. Here he is sworn in, and his specialized training and credentials as a hair and fibers technician in the city police lab are established.
“Good afternoon, sir,” Jeff Kerzy greets him. “The hour is getting late and we won’t keep you here long.”
“Fine,” Joey Sung answers.
The D.A. once more holds up the plastic bag of hair for all to see. “You examined all the hair samples that Dr. Wendell’s office sent from the victim’s autopsy to the police lab, is that correct?”
“Yes, sir, it is.”
“In your lab report, which I have here before me, and which you have a copy of,” he says, flipping through the pages, “you say that there were several different kinds of hair that were found on the external clothing of the body.
“Can you review that information for us, please?”
“Certainly.” Joey Sung sits forward on the edge of his chair. “They were all human hairs, and they were from both Caucasians and Asians. The Asian hair was found near the neck of the victim, who herself was Asian, and we assumed that these were just normal deposits from her own head. But there were also distinctly Caucasian strands of hair, and these we compared with samples supplied by one Fabian Darling and the defendant, Mazarine Cape.”
“And what did these comparative studies reveal?”
“”Well, they clearly eliminated Fabian Darling, but they were consistent with hair that was supplied by the defendant.”
The judge furiously gavels the room to silence as voices rise in consternation. “Any more outbursts, and I’ll clear the courtroom. I hope you believe me.” And she banged her gavel again.
“Thank you, Mr. Sung. That’s all I have, Your Honor.” Kerzy steps back lightheartedly to the prosecution table.
“Ms. Siu, cross?”
TO BE CONTINUED