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Live Coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial; Medical Examiner Testifies
Aired July 5, 2013 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Got you. And we also heard the term "stippling" around the bullet wound. What does that mean?
PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That basically means that the gun must have been fairly close to the person that was shot. Because you know once a gun is fired you're going to get all kinds of residue and you're also going to get a little particulate matter that may embed itself into the skin. So it has to do with the distance of the shot.
COSTELLO: OK, so we're looking at a graphic we had on screen. And the doctor also described how the bullet went into, I think, the right side of Trayvon Martin's chest. Is that correct?
PATE: I believe that was the testimony.
COSTELLO: That was the testimony -- and also punctured a lung. I know that. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be back with much more from inside the Sanford courtroom after this.
COSTELLO: All right. Let's go back to the courtroom. The medical examiner is on the stand. He conducted the autopsy on Trayvon Martin. He has testified that Martin died from a gunshot wound. He ruled the death a homicide and he seem to intimate that there was some pain involved -- that Trayvon Martin didn't die right away. Let's listen to more testimony.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: OK and when you say he's 5'11" or 71 inches is there actually a measurement, is the body put on a table and there is actually something that measured them?
SHIPING BAO, ASSOCIATE MEDICAL EXAMINER, CONDUCTED AUTOPSY OF TRAYVON MARTIN: It's a length. We measure the body in length because a dead man cannot stand. It's not height.
DE LA RIONDA: OK so in other words, a body after a person dies does not grow or anything or does not shrink. It just stays the same.
DE LA RIONDA: Now did you determine his age as being 17 years old, sir?
BAO: One day after the autopsy he was identified by his father. At that point, February 28, 2012.
DE LA RIONDA: And so he was 17 years old?
DE LA RIONDA: OK and was his date of birth you determined February 5th of 1995?
BAO: Yes. February 5th, 1995.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. Dr. Bao, I'm going to show you some photographs. And I before I get to this you briefly mentioned does your office have a medical examiner, investigator go out to the actual scene where the shooting is?
DE LA RIONDA: OK and did one go in this case?
DE LA RIONDA: OK and does the investigator make sure that the body is sealed in a bag that we are going to show photographs of?
DE LA RIONDA: OK when you performed the autopsy, do you have assistants helping you?
DE LA RIONDA: Specifically in this case two assistants?
BAO: I have two assistants.
DE LA RIONDA: OK and in terms of the autopsy that you're going to talk about the assistants work under your supervision and they are all in the same area as you?
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
And are photographs taken to document the relevant evidence that you will be talking to the jury about?
DE LA RIONDA: OK all right. Let's go if we could, Dr. Bao, I'm going to show you state exhibit 81. Do you recognize that photograph, sir?
DE LA RIONDA: And what is that a photograph of, sir?
BAO: Can I have something to point to --
DE LA RIONDA: Oh I apologize. We need a pointer. Thank you Mr. Guy. This little button right here. May I approach the witness, your honor?
DEBRA NELSON, PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, you may.
DE LA RIONDA: Right here.
BAO: This is a photo of --
DON WEST, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm sorry to interrupt. May I have the physical exhibit so that I can follow along with what's coming? Are these all in evidence already?
NELSON: The photos is there -- are they --
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, they're in evidence.
WEST: Yes. So there may be --
NELSON: They are right there if you would like to look through them or keep them at your desk, as long as the clerk gets them back.
WEST: As the court is aware we tried to expedite things by pre- marking.
NELSON: I don't think if you need those, you can just look through and take them back to the --
DE LA RIONDA: It should be 81 through 108.
WEST: Thank you, your honor.
NELSON: You're welcome.
You may proceed.
DE LA RIONDA: State's exhibit 181 -- I'm sorry 81 -- I apologize. Do you recognize that? And tell us what that photograph depicts, sir.
BAO: OK. This is a photo of plastic bag carrying Trayvon Martin.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And would this be --
BAO: 12 means 2012, year of 2012. 24 means Seminole county. 043 means this is 43 cases from the year. 150 pounds.
DE LA RIONDA: OK all right. Let me show you state's exhibit 82. What does this part of the -- what does this photograph show?
BAO: OK this -- this one shows black male case number unidentified number three. This is, again, the case number. This is f, feet.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And then state's exhibit 83, is that --
BAO: This is another view of this body bag.
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: Feet, and the case number.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And State's Exhibit 84, what does that photograph show, sir?
BAO: This is seal VCME Volusia County Medical Examiner. Seal number 0000517. This is case number. Nobody can open the bag before we look at it.
DE LA RIONDA: OK so in other words when the bag comes -- let me go back a second to 81, 82, 83, 84. The bag itself is sealed where the body of Trayvon' body is sealed in that container. It comes to your office and you all actually cut that or open that up. Is that correct?
DE LA RIONDA: OK. Let me show you State's Exhibit 99. You previously talked about an x-ray. Tell us -- when you said x-ray, is that x-ray taken before the body is removed from the bag?
BAO: No. Before the body was removed from the bag we took the x-ray, tried to locate the bullet fragments. This is one of them. The spine is right. There is a fragment in the area of the heart.
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: There are two fragments in the area of the right lung. There is another view of x-ray, spine, this is the stomach, the colon. Arm is right. Again you can see this lead core in the area of the heart and two more fragments of jacket in the area of the lung.
DE LA RIONDA: OK when the body comes to you, Dr. Bao, is this photograph showing how the body is exactly in terms of clothing that Trayvon Martin was wearing, State's Exhibit 85?
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: So this is the first photo we took, case number, the defect on the sweatshirt with some debris. And this is blue plastic bag.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And when you keep referring to defect, you're talking about what ends up killing him, in terms of the gunshot wound. This is showing of his shirt the hole.
BAO: Yes defect that means the hole.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. State's Exhibit 86, what does that photograph show, Dr. Bao?
BAO: This is another view of his body. Defect here. Case number, his hand and two legs.
DE LA RIONDA: So at this point you're showing, you're trying to photograph just showing the legs or part of the leg is that correct?
BAO: Yes normally we use three photos to cover the whole body.
DE LA RIONDA: OK and State's Exhibit 87, does that show -- tell us what it shows. I'm sorry.
BAO: OK this is another view of Trayvon Martin, case number and the -- his shoes and the pants.
DE LA RIONDA: State's exhibit 101, I guess I apologize. After the body comes in, is the clothing then removed and you observe that and then you go to the body itself?
DE LA RIONDA: OK State's Exhibit 101, what does that photograph show?
BAO: This is sweatshirt, the hole in the sweatshirt, the orange marker points to the defect on the left chest. Again, case number.
DE LA RIONDA: OK State's Exhibit 102, is that a close-up of what you refer to as a defect or the hole that caused the gunshot wound?
BAO: Yes. Caused by the gunshot wound.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. State's Exhibit 103, what does that photograph show?
BAO: This is the back view of the hoodie sweatshirt -- appears to be wet.
DE LA RIONDA: OK State's Exhibit 104, what does that photograph show, Dr. Bao?
BAO: This is another sweatshirt under the hole in the sweatshirt. You see this is the blood, the defect, the marker. This black appears to be soot, s-o-o-t, soot.
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: Again we have the case number.
DE LA RIONDA: All right. And Dr. Bao, just to make sure that the jury understands, State's Exhibit -- I'm going back to State's Exhibit 85 -- was that sweatshirt that we just talked about underneath this hoodie or sweatshirt?
BAO: Yes. Yes.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And State's Exhibit 104, is that the front part of the sweatshirt?
DE LA RIONDA: OK. State's Exhibit 105, what does that photograph show sir?
BAO: This is just a close-up of the previous one. Again, you can see there the defect, the blood and the soot which is burned powder from the gun.
DE LA RIONDA: State's Exhibit 106, what does that photograph show Dr. Bao?
BAO: This is the back view of shirt. There is no defect which means there is no exit wound.
DE LA RIONDA: OK State's Exhibit 107, what does that photograph show?
BAO: This is the pants. Appears to be wet and some debris.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And is that the front part of the pants?
BAO: Yes front view.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. State's exhibit 108, what does that show?
BAO: It's the back view of the pants.
DE LA RIONDA: State's Exhibit 88. What does that photograph show, Dr. Bao?
DE LA RIONDA: This is Trayvon Martin, 17 years old.
DE LA RIONDA: OK and is that a photograph to show the upper part of his body?
BAO: Yes. Normally we have three photos. This is from head to the abdomen.
DE LA RIONDA: OK and obviously this right here is just for photography purposes and has been blacked out. Is that correct?
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: There was a defect, left lower chest. Other than that, Trayvon Martin was healthy. There was no disease. No injury. Other injury other than gunshot wound.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And you stated, I believe, he weighed 158 pounds. Is that correct?
BAO: Yes. We weighed by ourselves.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. State's Exhibit 89, what does that show? BAO: This is another view of Trayvon Martin from the chest to the knee. Again we show the defect. Other than this defect, there is no disease. There is no injury.
DE LA RIONDA: OK while we have this photograph here Dr. Bao I'm going to circle the hands. Did you make observations as to the hands, sir?
DE LA RIONDA: OK did you observe any blood? And we're going to talk about an injury that you're going to talk about in the left hand. But other than that did you observe any blood on the hands.
BAO: Yes other than some small aberrations on left fifth finger and the left fourth finger there is no other injuries, no other disease.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And did you observe any blood on the hands at all?
DE LA RIONDA: State's Exhibit 90, what does that photograph show?
BAO: This is the view of Trayvon Martin from the thigh to the feet. Again, there is no disease, no injury.
DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, state exhibit 91. What does that photograph show?
BAO: This is the back view of Trayvon Martin from the head to this area. There is no disease. No injury.
DE LA RIONDA: State exhibit 92. What does that photograph show, Dr. Bao?
BAO: This is another view of Trayvon Martin's back. There is no disease. There's no injury.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. State exhibit 93, what does that photograph show, Dr. Bao?
BAO: This is view of Trayvon Martin's back from the thigh to the feet. Again there is no disease. There is no injury.
DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, now showing you state's exhibit 94. What does that photograph show, sir?
BAO: This photograph shows the defect on the left lower chest.
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: 3/8 inch --
DE LA RIONDA: I apologize, go ahead.
BAO: 3/8 inch diameter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry?
BAO: 3/8-inch diameter round defect. We can use the close-up one.
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir. I'm coming to that one yet. But before I get to that you have a measuring thing just to show the -- where the injury is so that people can see it and also the measurement itself?
BAO: Yes. This one has both the scale and the case number.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. Let me show you state's exhibit 95. Tell us what state's exhibit 95, what that the photograph shows, Dr. Bao.
BAO: This photograph shows the defect with green aberration around the defect which is consistent with entrance wound. Also we can see the soot -- s-o-o-t -- and the two by two inch area of stippling also called powder tattooing which is penetrating aberrations caused by unburned powder from the gun.
DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, how can you positively say that what I'm certain right here is the entrance wound, the gunshot wound? How can you say that's the entrance wound?
BAO: Because the entrance wound is different from exit wound. Exit wound normally elongated and normally there is no soot, no stippling. This case is one of the easiest cases in my office. There is no exit wound -- has to be entrance wound.
DE LA RIONDA: So in other words, you find the fragments of the bullet inside his body. There is no exit.
Yes. I have 100 percent confidence, I look at this wound, I can make a judgment this is the entrance wound of intermediate range in first three seconds.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was the end of the answer?
BAO: In first three seconds I look at the wound with 100 percent confidence.
DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, I believe that's even a closer-up of that gunshot wound -- I'm sorry, state's exhibit 96. Tell us if you can -- you've got the green marker -- go ahead and tell us.
BAO: This is fat, adipose fat tissue under the skin. Again this is entrance wound with stippling and soot. Consistent with entrance wound.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. I'm going to ask you in a few minutes about the soot. Is this what you are talking about when you say soot or stippling?
BAO: The black one, this is soot.
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: This is penetrating aberrations are stippling. DE LA RIONDA: And is that from the shooting of the gun in terms of the bullet?
BAO: Yes. Yes.
DE LA RIONDA: State's exhibit 97, what does that photograph show?
BAO: This is superficial aberration caused by blunt force trauma, one-quarter by one-eighth inch aberration on left fourth finger.
DE LA RIONDA: And you found something on the pinky finger.
BAO: -- very small. I even cannot use ruler to measure them. Two of them much less than 1/16 inch -- two small aberrations on left fifth finger.
DE LA RIONDA: Other than the gunshot wound that you have talked about which I'm going back for the record to state's exhibit 96 and state's exhibit number 97, the injuries that you describe to the left -- I believe -- is this the left hand, by the way?
BAO: Yes, left hand.
DE LA RIONDA: Did you find any other injury on any other part of his body? In other words did you find any injuries to his right hand at all?
DE LA RIONDA: State's exhibit 100, is this what you ended up recovering from the body, sir?
BAO: This is the lead core from bullet. I recovered this one in the pericardial sac behind right ventricle of the heart.
DE LA RIONDA: OK.
BAO: These two are fragments of jacket recovered in the right pleural cavity behind the right lower lobe of the lung.
DE LA RIONDA: Let me go back to state's exhibit 96 or 95 for context. Tell us, if you could, Dr. Bao, when that bullet entered the chest of Trayvon Martin what happened? How did he die? If you could just tell the jury.
BAO: The bullet went straight directly from the front to the back with perforations of anterior wall of the space between fifth and sixth ribs. The bullet went through the pericardial sac, went through right ventricle of the heart, went through the posterior wall of the right ventricle of the heart. We recovered 1,700 milliliters blood in the right pleural cavity; 1,000 milliliters of blood in the left pleural cavity.
I believe he was alive for one to ten minutes after he was shot. His heart was beating until there was no blood left. At that point his heart stopped and he's completely silent. DE LA RIONDA: So this would be an obvious question. This was a fatal shot. Is that correct?
BAO: There are two holes on the right ventricle of the heart. There's no chance he can survive -- no chance, zero.
DE LA RIONDA: And if you could, in terms of the track of the bullet, does it come straight, or is it at an angle either going up or down on the body. I know you have to look at the body anatomically correct.
BAO: In my opinion it's straight from the front to the back.
DE LA RIONDA: So it's a straight shot right into the heart basically.
DE LA RIONDA: You mentioned already and I want you to -- if you could, explain to the jury when you say stippling and soot what you mean. I will progress to state's exhibit number 96, going back to that. If you could, explain if you could what we mean by stippling and soot. What we mean by that.
BAO: The meaning of soot and stippling so we can make a diagnosis of intermediate range. In my autopsy report I gave three ranges of shooting -- contact, intermediate and indeterminate.
DE LA RIONDA: Let's talk about contact would be, what? Literally when you say contact, the muzzle of the gun is right on the skin itself?
BAO: Contact entrance wound is complete from this one. In my office --
BAO: Contact entrance wound is completely different from this --
DE LA RIONDA: So this is not a contact wound to the skin itself.
BAO: I look at contact entrance wounds almost every day in my office. If it is contact there will be skin laceration. If there is clothes there will be the imprint of the fiber of the clothes. In this case I have 100 percent confidence this is intermediate range of shooting.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And when you say intermediate range, what is that range? Are you able to determine or give your opinion as to what the range could be?
BAO: A definition?
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir.
BAO: Intermediate range is when you see the stippling. So if you see stippling it's in the intermediate range. In the intermediate range, you need to see the stippling.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. And in terms of the range, what would be the range that you would opine is consistent with this, sir?
BAO: I look at many books. I try to find out what is the range for intermediate range.
DE LA RIONDA: Is that .4 --
BAO: I need to explain to the jury.
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, please explain to the jury.
BAO: The range of shooting is my opinion, not a fact. The fact is there is defect on the chest. There is soot. There is stippling. Use this fact. I have my opinion. The fact is different from opinion. For the fact there is no right or wrong -- just truth or false.
WEST: I object to the witness's classification of the fact versus opinion.
DE LA RIONDA: Let me ask you a question specifically.
BAO: Fact and opinion is very important in the justice system.
DE LA RIONDA: Hold on, Dr. Bao.
NELSON: Doctor, go ahead and let Mr. De La Rionda ask the question, sir.
DE LA RIONDA: Let me just ask you a question.
DE LA RIONDA: There are different ranges in terms of -- you mentioned contact, and then there's intermediate. And is that range from .4 inches to up to four feet?
BAO: Yes. I looked at many books. The clue is in the book.
DE LA RIONDA: I'm going to ask you about the clothes in a minute.
BAO: The range is not the fact. It's opinion.
WEST: I object, your honor -- nonresponsive.
NELSON: Mr. Bao, you're going to have to wait for Mr. De La Rionda to ask you a question and then provide the answer. Thank you.
DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, we're going to get into it. But assuming there was no clothes, then you have the intermediate range which is .4 inches to up to four feet. Is that correct?
BAO: Yes. I did not measure. All I have is from the book.
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir.
BAO: It's my opinion. DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir. I'm going to get into your opinion explaining to the jury.
BAO: Yes, very important.
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir. Did you determine that since he was wearing clothes this would be called -- what's the word?
BAO: Intermediate -- or intermediary target. There are two different terms.
DE LA RIONDA: Tell us about those, if you could.
BAO: OK. The intermediary target, i-n-t-e-r-m-e-d-i-a-r-y -- intermediary target means the object between the bullet and the target including the clothing, materials in the pocket; in other case could be car windows, could be arms, we have intermediary target. It is more difficult to determine the range of shooting.
DE LA RIONDA: So in this case you had -- you had clothing --
DE LA RIONDA: You had two sweatshirts there were acting as that, correct?
DE LA RIONDA: OK. Does that help you account why you're saying in terms of the range that that served as an in-between the bullet -- I'm sorry -- the muzzle of the gun and the skin. Is that correct? ?
DE LA RIONDA: The clothing --
BAO: No, it's different.
DE LA RIONDA: Tell me what the effect the clothing had.
BAO: The clothing will block some soot and some material from the gunshot. I want to explain to you how I did this autopsy, how I determined the range.
DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir. Please explain to the jury --
BAO: The intermediate range -- when I say intermediate range is by definition. It's not by measurement. There are no facts, just opinion.
DE LA RIONDA: Sure. So you're just going on what the -- what is classified as intermediate -- what that means.
BAO: By definition of intermediate range.
DE LA RIONDA: You're not actually there measuring when you are there. BAO: Nobody can use the eye to oh determine the range. There is no such thing.
DE LA RIONDA: Now, you mentioned the clothing as serving as some barrier between the muzzle of the gun and the body itself, is that correct.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. Now based on your examination of the clothing and then also the body, do you believe there was some contact with the clothing by the muzzle of the gun?
BAO: I believe there is loose contact. Loose, lo-o-s-e.
DE LA RIONDA: Tell us about that.
BAO: Yes, the contact including loose contact and hard contact, h-a- r-d. If it was hard contact I would see some imprint of fiber of the clothes over here. So I did not see that. So I believe this is loose contact to the clothes which caused the stippling pattern on the skin.
DE LA RIONDA: Can you determine how loose it was other than it was just loose? Can you say how loose it was?
BAO: I don't know. Just loose contact.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. Now how about the fact that you had two sweatshirts -- what's been referred to as the hoodie and then underneath another sweatshirt? Does that add an additional barrier I guess, in terms of loose?
BAO: I cannot tell.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. I want to talk about the position of the body when shot.
DE LA RIONDA: You know, in the movies and on TV they say we can tell you how it happened.