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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wounds don’t tell whole story

    Questions remain after the chief pathologist in Galareka Harrison’s trial Tuesday gave testimony describing the 23 stab wounds that led to Mia Henderson’s death.

    Dr. David Winston, a pathologist at the Pima County Forensic Science Center, was in charge of examining Henderson’s body after she was found stabbed at Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall in September of last year.

    Photographs of the victim’s wounds were shown to the jury at the trial, and despite a convoluted view of them by the gallery, the audience was asked not to react in the event they might sway the jury.

    Winston pointed to photos of the victim for the jury, identifying numerous incisions found on Henderson’s neck, cheek and back.

    On Henderson’s neck were two stab wounds, ranging in depth from two to four inches, and on her left cheek was a 3-inch stab wound pointing in an upward direction, Winston testified.

    On Henderson’s neck were five incised cuts about 1/8 inches deep, different from standard stab wounds in that they were longer than they were deep, Winston said.

    About 15 of the wounds were found scattered in areas on either side of Henderson’s back, ranging from one to four inches, all penetrating the skin from back to front.

    Many of the wounds were not potentially fatal in that they didn’t reach major vessels or organs. However, five wounds punctured Henderson’s left and right lungs.

    Winston said there was blood found in her lungs from the punctured chest cavity.

    Another cut was approximately two inches deep, entering the abdominal cavity and cutting the upper part of the spleen.

    The deepest of the stabs was measured at just over seven inches, penetrating Henderson’s upper right kidney and part of her liver.

    None of the wounds were immediately fatal, and when asked if the wounds may have been in self-defense, Winston said it was possible “”she could have been fending off an attacker.””

    There were also several incised wounds on Henderson’s right wrist and across the insides of her right palm, Winston said, and several abrasions made by blunt force, located on Henderson’s right knee and face.

    These abrasions can result from rug burn or by someone falling on the ground, Winston said.

    Winston testified he had no knowledge of the order of the stabs, or which incision was made first.

    Although the size, location and direction of the inflictions could be identified, he was ultimately unable to tell what type of instrument was used.

    “”There has yet to be a method developed that can tell what kind of knife causes what wounds,”” said Winston.

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