Second Day of the Ferguson Hearing Kicks Off

6 years 1 month 6 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2012 Apr 17, 2012 Tuesday, April 17, 2012 9:04:00 AM CDT April 17, 2012 in News
By: Jessica Smith and Danny Spewak

COLE COUNTY - The second day of Ryan Ferguson's evidentiary hearing kicked off Tuesday morning with Dr. Larry Blum, a forensic pathologist taking the stand.

Blum began by stressing the importance of having forensic pathology training when performing autopsies-- training that he said Dr. Edward Adelstein, who performed Kent Heitholt's original autopsy, did not have. Blum discredited the original autopsy report, saying it lacked many key elements.

Blum said he has performed more than 10,000 autopsies, 1,000 of them being homicides. Blum said he has testified in a courtroom 580 times.

The defense presented photographs of the autopsy to the court, and had Blum explain the patterns of the injuries. Blum said in the autopsy report, the doctor did not explain or investigate the pattern of the injuries.

"[The injury reports were] not specific nor were they characterized any more specifically so that one could get an idea of under what circumstances they were inflicted, or even the instrumentality was somewhat in doubt based on the description in the report," said Blum.

Blum expressed doubts that a tire iron was used to kill Heitholt. Heitholt skull's was not fractured after 11-12 blows to the head, but Blum argued a tire iron would have crushed his skull. The prosecution countered saying throuhgout the original trial the term, "tire tool" was used. Not "tire iron."

Blum also noted several defensive injuries on Heitholt's hands that were not reported.

The doctor said another key point was whether or not the hyoid bone, a bone in the neck, was fractured by strangulation or blunt force. Blum said he does not think that a belt snapped the hyoid bone, as said in the report.

KOMU 8 has reporters in the courtroom and will continue to update this story. Follow the reporters, @JessicaASmith8 and @dspewak, on Twitter for continual updates.

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