Defense Challenges Doctor's Finding of Homicide
The Drew Peterson murder trial continues its third week of testimony.
Updated 3:07 p.m.
Defense attorney Ralph Meczyk has been trying to get Dr. Larry Blum to admit the bruises on Kathleen Savio's body are old.
Blum has already testified that Savio sustained the bruises within 24 hours of her death.
Meczyk showed Blum slides of tissue samples taken from Savio's body after it was exhumed three years after her death. Blum agreed that the bruised tissue in the slides did show old injuries--year-old injuries.
Meczyk also confronted Blum with opinions of three doctors who don't
believe Savio's death was a homicide.
One of these doctors, according the Assistant State's Attorney John Connor, was quoted in a National Enquirer article as saying he believed Savio was the victim of a homicide.
Updated 12:22 p.m.
Defense attorney Ralph Meczyk questioned forensic pathologist Larry Blum about the findings made by the doctor who conducted the first autopsy on Kathleen Savio.
Meczyk quoted from the autopsy report prepared by Dr. Bryan Mitchell.
"The lacerarion to the posterior scalp may have been related to a fall in which she struck her head," Meczyk read from the report prepared by Mitchell, who died in March 2004.
Blum has already testified that he determined the head wound was not caused by a slip and fall. Blum said he concluded that Savio was the victim of a homicide.
Blum also performed a second autopsy on Savio's body after her grave was dug up and her corpse was pulled from its casket in November 2007.
"Those remains were nice and fresh in 2004," Meczyk said.
"You of course examined the remains three years later," he said, adding, "The remains are not nice and fresh."
Blum claimed that Mitchell failed to enumerate all the bruises on Savio's body in his report.
During his cross-examination, Meczyk also quoted from Mitchell's report that Savio's back and buttocks were "free of significant injury."
Autopsy photos showed that Savio's back and buttocks were covered with numerous abrasions. Blum has testified that Savio suffered the abrasions within an hour of dying.
Updated 10:22 a.m.
The forensic pathologist who reviewed Kathleen Savio's 2004 autopsy and
performed a second autopsy after her body was exhumed in 2007 explained how he determined that she was the victim of a homicide.
Dr. Larry Blum said he took into account the position of Savio's body when it was found curled inside her bathtub and the distribution of the injuries on her body.
Blum also testified that it is "extremely rare" for adults to drown in bathtubs "without risk factors."
Those risk factors include drug and alcohol abuse and diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Savio had none of those diseases. Postmortem testing found no sign of drugs or alcohol in her body.
Dr. Larry Blum is scheduled to start the day by returning to the witness stand and resuming his testimony.
Following Blum, Scott Rossetto, a man from Stacy Peterson's past whom she met with again shortly before mysteriously vanishing in October 2007 is tentatively slated to testify.
Following Rossetto is Jennifer Schoon, ex-girlfriend of Peterson's son
Stephen and Kyle Toutges, Stacy Peterson's uncle.
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