A medical examiner is currently under investigation in the county he works
for after a judge ruled that he gave false testimony in a murder trial.
The judge also ruled that the man convicted of murdering his infant daughter
in that 2004 trial will now get a new trial beginning this month. The
medical examiner had testified for the prosecution as to the manner of
death of the baby, and the judge ruled that he gave information that was
not necessarily true and may have swayed the jury to convict.
The medical examiner had ruled that the father had
killed his baby by throwing her against a concrete floor or wall, fatally fracturing
her skull. Some other medical examiners say that this medical examiner
jumped to conclusions without taking into account or fully investigating
all the facts of the case.
The baby’s skull showed evidence of a fracture, but it also showed
signs of healing and may have showed that it had occurred six days prior
to her death, but a sample was not taken. Her parents said that she had
fallen out of a shopping cart at a Wal-Mart store six days before she
died. Other medical examiners who reviewed the case believed that it was
more likely that the infant suffocated while she slept on a futon next
to her dad and her three-year-old sibling.
The judge and other medical examiners who reviewed the case said that this
medical examiner came to conclusions about whether the baby’s skull
fracture would have been fatal or whether she would have been showing
symptoms without consulting specialists who would know that information
from working with living children. They say that the medical examiner
also did not go to the scene to reconstruct what had happened with the
person who found the baby dead nor did he try to reconstruct it using
a doll or other means.