LI: Freddie Gray Trial: Famous Pathologist Vincent Di Maio term’s death an accident

From my post over at Legal Insurrection:

The defense has opened with a bang in the “Freddie Gray” trial of Police Officer William Porter, bringing to the stand as their first witness noted forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio, who is testifying that Gray’s death should have been ruled an accident, not a homicide.

As reported by Kalani Gordon at the Baltimore Sun:

Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner in San Antonio, said Gray’s injury was “so violent, it’s so high-energy,” that it would have immediately caused Gray to lose control of his body and his diaphragm, which is critical for breathing and speaking.

“This has all the appearances of a single catastrophic injury,” he said.

Gray could not have suffered his severe spinal cord, then, at the fourth stop of the van in which he was injured, when Porter found him on the floor of the van and Gray allegedly asked for help, said he couldn’t breathe and said he needed a medic.

The injury had essentially “cut off the head from the body” in a neurological sense, Di Maio testified. He said Gray’s spinal cord was 80 percent crushed.

“You had a head and a body and they were disconnected,” he said. “You aren’t feeling anything. You aren’t able to move. He was paralyzed. He was quadriplegic.”

Dr. Di Maio went on to characterize the injury as an “accident,” and not a “homicide”:

Di Maio said he believed Gray was injured between the fifth and sixth stops, and that his death was not a homicide as state medical examiner Dr. Carol Allan found, but an accident.

“It’s just an accident,” he said, “and accidents happen.”

On cross-examination by the prosecution, Dr. Di Maio was adamant that Gray would have been unable to speak after the injury (meaning that Gray could not have already suffered his injury at the stop at which he asked Porter for help):

[Prosecutor] Schatzow pointed out that Gray’s spinal cord was not 100 percent cut, and questioned whether Di Maio was sure that Gray would not have been able to speak at the fourth stop in which he talked with Porter.

“Impossible?” Schatzow asked.

“Yes sir,” Di Maio said.

“Completely impossible,” Schatzow asked.

“Yes, sir.”

To read the whole thing, click over to Legal Insurrection.

About the Author

Andrew Branca
Andrew F. Branca is a Massachusetts lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense website (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), and many other re-sellers. Andrew just launched his latest product, the LOSD Instructor Program, designed for gun safety, marksmanship and tactical strategy instructors. Be an elite member of the self defense community, understanding your state's self defense laws to a depth even lawyers rarely achieve. Check it out here.   Andrew also gives live, in-person, ~5 hour-long state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars all over the country. Click here to find a live seminar covering your state's self-defense laws.   Andrew also produces many 4-5 hour online, on-demand state-specific Law of Self Defense training courses. These online classes are enriched versions of the live, in-person state-specific Law of Self Defense Class Andrew gives all around the country. Click here to find an online course for your state. These online classes are priced at $249/HOUSEHOLD. You can learn more details and view the first section of the training class for free (about 30 minutes worth of self-defense law training) by clicking here.

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