Zimmerman Trial: Defense’s Forensic Pathologist Schools Everyone

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Dr. Vincent Di Maio took the stand for most of today’s testimony, commanding the entire room with his august yet easy confidence and candor, and reducing the prosecution’s interference to only sparse, feebly-muttered objections for the entire lengthy phase of the defense attorney Don West’s initial question-and-answer.

In his thoughtful answers, Di Maio curtly supported George Zimmerman’s version of the incident in question–specifically, how Zimmerman received his injuries, and how Trayvon Martin died–by mere virtue of his unimpeachable assertions about everything in evidence being consistent with Zimmerman’s story of what happened.

Having graduated medical school in 1965, Di Maio has been practicing forensic pathology for 48 years. His testimony today seemed to go on for about the same length of time. But he certainly isn’t a boring guy to listen to; he’s been boning up on broken bones, broken skin, behavior of bullets when fired, and everything having to do with injuries to, and deaths of, human beings for so long that when he answered questions about it all, it was in such a knowledgeable, conversational tone (with just enough gallows-directness) that you couldn’t help but be somewhat amused at some of his revelations.

For example, when discussing different kinds and causes of head injuries, Di Maio would first spend some time precisely, clinically clarifying the exact nature of the event, then would bluntly blurt out the bottom line: ”We’ve seen people who have this particular type of brain trauma under the surface, which isn’t apparent at all from the exterior, and you’re walking around with no problem–but then a few days later you suddenly drop dead.”

Another highlight was when Di Maio explained about how a person suffering a gunshot wound straight into the heart can continue to live, talk, and move for at least 10-15 seconds afterward, and up to as much as 1-3 minutes, if enough oxygen is still available to the brain. He gave the case example of a man who had taken a point-blank shotgun blast which had completely shredded his heart; the man was still able to run 65 feet, rounding the corner of a building before dropping.

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