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    Freddie Gray Trial: Famous Pathologist Vincent Di Maio terms death an accident

    Freddie Gray Trial: Famous Pathologist Vincent Di Maio terms death an accident

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

    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.”

    This post will be updated as more details from the trial emerge.

    Background on Di Maio

    Those of you who followed our daily coverage of the George Zimmerman trial will recall that Dr. Di Maio testified on the behalf of the defense in that case as well, and provided compelling and pivotal expert testimony in that case: Noted Forensic Pathologist Says Zimmerman Story “Consistent” with Evidence, As Defense Case Nears End.  (The featured picture above is of Dr. Di Maio’s testifying at the Zimmerman trial.)

    There Dr. Di Maio was the next to last witness before the defense rested, and Zimmerman would be unanimously acquitted by the jury after only a couple of hours of deliberations five days later.

    How pivotal was Dr. Di Maio’s testimony in the Zimmerman case? So pivotal that after Zimmerman’s acquittal the SJW organization Change.Org launched a petition to have his medical license revoked: Revoke the Lic. of Dr Vincent Di Maio Medical Examiner for the Defense in the Zimmerman Case. That effort garnered a whopping 26, count ’em twenty-six, supporters, and is now closed.

    So far it is reported that Dr. Di Maio is already directly contradicting the state’s medical experts, and that he is testifying that Gray’s death should have been ruled an accident, says Freddie Gray was injured between the fifth and sixth stops.

    Here’s a bit of Dr. Di Maio’s testimony from the Zimmerman trial. You can see our original coverage of his testimony in that case and more video of Dr. Di Maio’s testimony at the link above.

    –-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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    SueAnne | December 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Serious question:
    ME said Gray couldn’t have banged on the walls due to injury, so the other prisoner was mistaken, but that Gray could have had a seizure that would account for the sounds.

    But Dr. Di Maio said the injury left Gray paraplegic.

    So, can a seizure cause movement in a paraplegic? Is there an in-between where an injured person couldn’t move enough to bang on walls, but could move enough with a seizure that it would sound like that?

    dmi60ex | December 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I usually don’t believe in conspiracy , theories , but I have seen one floated on other sites and I believe that may have been on to something , but wrong in who the culprit is . The belief that this was set up as a cash for crash set up . Now you would need a lawyer behind the scenes to grease the skids , they thought it was Mosby , not her style . Now Why are they taking so great of measures to keep Freddies medical history out .. Think , who represented Freddie , who had her girlfriend try to muddy the waters with Donta Allen interview., who told the police not to investigate his cash for crash schemes, who knew that Mosby had stepped up enforcement on that corner that Freddie gets arrested twice in two weeks ( was this first one the one Porter saw him kick out the window ) And who is helping Schatzow practically throw this away .Not saying any names! Makes me wonder ? What a great cover if it is . If that is the case Freddie should have gotten Workmens comp instead of settlement : Occupational injury

    Mr Branca, a good Mosby story you should read :How a dog’s slit throat may affect Freddie Gray case: Daily Caller June 6th and see the shenanigans she pulled on her first day of office to help her buddy Billy Murphy . The fiasco included a medical professional (vet) who suddenly had a change of heart about a cause of death.It was reported in Sun .This is the ethical complaint eluded to by the police union in several Sun articles.She is a trip.

    Sammy Finkelman | December 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I take it that the accident/homicide distinction has to do with whether or not there is any kind of criminal culpability, even passive, where someone did not do what was his legal duty.

    So what? Something like this?

    If someone runs a red light, it would be a homicide. The same incident where there was no light or STOP sign would be an accident. If someone had enough time to react or shold have know, again a homicide?

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