Next: prosecution case cross-examination of medical examiner
Zimmerman Trial: Medical Examiner Describes Autopsy Photos Dr. Shiping Bao Examined Martin’s Body
Witness: Dr. Shiping Bao
“All I know is his body was at scene for some period of time,” Dr. Bao says.
West asks if he has any idea of what was supposed to have happened.
Dr. Bao says he only knows he was shot and dead.
West asks if he did the autopsy without information from what happened the day before.
Dr. Bao says he only has the notes he has and has no recollection of the day of the shooting.
He says he tries
Judge Nelson says only one person can speak at a time. She asks for West to allow Dr. Bao to answer and Dr. Bao to wait.
West and Dr. Bao speak at the same time.
West asks for the question to be read back because it was a yes or no.
Dr. Bao says he needs to explain to the jury why he can’t remember the autopsy.
Judge Nelson asks him to stop speaking so West can ask the next question.
West asks if his testimony today relies on the autopsy report.
Dr. Bao confirms and says the photos, too.
West asks what point the body is seen.
Dr. Bao answers.
West asks to interrupt. De la Rionda objects.
Judge Nelson asks for only one person to speak.
West says he would like to ask a more specific question.
West asks at what point he sees the body. He points out where the report says the body is viewed unclothed.
Dr. Bao says he was there the whole time. The body was received in plastic bag, which they opened and removed his clothes.
West asks to walk through the steps taken performing the autopsy.
He asks about the technicians assisting with the autopsy.
Dr. Bao says one helped to write and the other helped to put evidence together.
West asks about the preliminary inspection and if plastic bags were around Martin’s hands.
Dr. Bao confirms there were none, just the body bag.
He says plastic bags cannot be used, but standard practice is to use paper bag.
West asks about Martin’s body remaining at the scene for three hours.
Dr. Bao says he doesn’t know.
West asks if he has the notes from the investigator.
Dr. Bao says yes and looks for them.
He says the notes are not his or his opinion, so he can only read them.
He says she wrote she got there at 9:44 p.m.
Dr. Bao tells West he is under oath and cannot give wrong information.
West asks him to assume the event occurred at 7:15 p.m. and the jury can sort out the time.
West asks based upon her notes, she arrived about 2.5 hours after the event and left at about 10:10 p.m.
Dr. Bao says he doesn’t see that. West approaches and points out the note for Dr. Bao.
The jury returns.
Dr. Bao says the stick goes under every finger.
De la Rionda asks about the blood card taken for DNA.
Dr. Bao confirms.
De la Rionda asks about an identification photograph.
Judge Nelson reads an instruction to the jury about the identification of Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
De la Rionda asks if the gunshot wound was right at the heart. Dr. Bao says he had to open the body to see that.
De la Rionda finishes questioning.
West asks for a recess.
Judge Nelson grants a 10 minute recess.
De la Rionda hands Dr. Bao the bullet fragments recovered. Dr. Bao identifies them and De la Rionda shows them to the jury.
Dr. Bao says there was no blood on Martin’s hands. The only injuries were the abrasions already asked about.
De la Rionda shows a photo of the hand.
Dr. Bao says it is a superficial injury from blunt force trauma and could have happened before meeting Zimmerman.
He says it could have been two hours before, right after the shooting, or as he fell to the ground.
Dr. Bao says the abrasion is one quarter by one eighth. He describes the three types of blunt force trauma.
This abrasion is the least severe of the three, he says.
The pinky had a small abrasion, too small to be measured, he says.
He says the blood is still inside and confirms it could be classified as a scratch to the skin.
De la Rionda asks about the fingernail scrapings.
Dr. Bao says the wound is not a contact shot to the skin.
He says it is an intermediate range shooting, which means stippling is seen.
Dr. Bao says his opinion is based off facts seen from the gunshot wound.
Intermediate range is .4 inches to four feet away, De la Rionda explains.
Dr. Bao explains an intermediary target is more difficult to determine range of shooting.
De la Rionda asks about the clothing.
Dr. Bao says clothing will block soot and material from the gunshot. He says intermediate range is not measured and no one can use eyes to determine it.
He says he believe there was loose contact. A hard contact would have shown an imprint in the clothes.
Dr. Bao says there are no facts and he has no opinion on how Martin’s body was when he was shot. He can say the gun was in front of him.
De la Rionda asks if Martin was conscious for a few minutes.
Dr. Bao says his opinion is based on facts. He believes Martin was alive for one to 10 minutes after he was shot.
Dr. Bao says a photo shows the defect on the left of the chest.
In a closer photo, Dr. Bao describes features that he says are consistent with an entrance wound.
A photo shows “superficial abrasions” on the left 4th finger and 5th finger, Dr. Bao says.
No other injuries were found, he says.
A photo shows the lead core and fragments recovered.
Dr. Bao says the bullet went straight from the front to the back with perforation of space between 5th and 6th ribs, it went through the ventrical of the heart and the posterior wall of the heart.
Dr. Bao says Martin was alive for one to 10 minutes after he was shot.
De la Rionda asks about the shot being fatal.
Dr. Bao says there was no chance he could survive with two holes in the heart.
“It’s a straight shot right into the heart,” De la Rionda asks.
“Yes,” Dr. Bao answers.
De la Rionda shows two more photos of the body bag and another of the seal.
De la Rionda shows an X-ray taken to try to locate the bullet fragments. Dr. Bao points out where they are located.
De la Rionda asks about a photo of the clothing Martin was wearing.
More photos from the autopsy exam are shown.
Dr. Bao says the back of the hooded sweatshirt appears to be wet.
He points out the back of the grey sweatshirt, adding that there is no exit wound.
Dr. Bao says they normally take three photos of the body. He says other than the defect of the gunshot wound, Martin was healthy and disease-free.
More photos of Martin from the autopsy exam are shown.
De la Rionda asks about the hands.
Dr. Bao says other than some small abrasion on left 5th and 4th finger there were no other injuries. There was also no blood, he says.
Martin was measured as 71 inches, 5 feet and 11 inches, and 158 pounds.
Dr. Bao says an investigator goes out to the scene of the incident.
He says two assistants work with him.
De la Rionda shows a picture to the jury.
West asks for the physical photos to follow along.
Dr. Bao says it is a photo of the bag that carried Martin.
He explains what an autopsy is and the definitions of manner of death.
He says Martin’s death was a homicide because he was killed by another person.
Dr. Bao says he has done more than 3,000 autopsies, with about 150-200 being homicides.
He has testified before as an expert.
Dr. Bao did the examination of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 27, 2012 at the medical examiner’s office Volusia County.
The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest and manner of death was homicide, Dr. Bao says.
He says Martin was not identified when he arrived at the office and his age wasn’t known.
They first looked for bullet fragments, he says, adding that the body was sealed in a plastic bag.
He describes Martin’s height and weight and says he was wearing a shirt with a hole and another below it with blood.
He describes the gunshot wound seen after removing the clothing.
He says the bullet went through fiber tissue around the heart and through a ventricle of the heart.
The lead core of the bullet and two fragments were recovered, he says.
He says Martin was still alive when the bullet went through his heart. He says Martin was still suffering and in pain.
West objects to speculation.
Judge Nelson asks the attorneys to approach.
Dr. Shiping Bao shares his education and work history.
Witness: Sybrina Fulton – Martin’s mother
The jury is reseated. De la Rionda shows her a button Martin was wearing. Fulton identifies it. There is no cross-examination.
The state calls Dr. Bao.
The jury exits the courtroom. The sidebar continues.