Sunday, May 19, 2013
Defense Cross-Examines Medical Examiner in Bonnie Craig Murder Trial
The defense pointed out today that there is no evidence at McHugh Creek that Bonnie had been violently attacked.
ANCHORAGE—The Bonnie Craig rape and murder trial continued Wednesday with the defense cross-examining the state's expert witness, the medical examiner who conducted the 1994 autopsy on the college student's body.
Dr. Norman Thompson testified Craig had 11 lacerations on her head, hands and vagina, which he says indicate she had been raped and murdered, her head bludgeoned multiple times with some sort of weapon.
But the defense attorney for Craig’s accused killer, Kenneth Dion, pointed out that there was no evidence at McHugh Creek that Craig had been violently attacked.
The defense said Craig died during an accidental fall after having had consensual sex with the former Fort Richardson soldier.
“Because we don't know how she's falling, you can't rule it out,” said Andrew Lambert, Dion’s attorney, of the theory that Craig’s head lacerations were the result of a fall.
“I rule it out because as I look at her body and the distance, the characteristics of the cliff and the adjacent hillside, I can't see how she could fall in a way that would concentrate 11 or 12 injuries to the back of her head,” said Thompson.
“We don't have anything that matches the theory that she was killed at a residence, motel, hotel, trailer, motor home, anything like that, do we?” Lambert said during cross-examination.
“There's no such evidence I'm aware of,” Thompson said.
“And if we look at the theory that she was murdered in a vehicle there's no evidence that supports that theory,” Lambert said.
“That is correct,” Thompson said.
The defense also addressed the laceration Thompson found during the sexual assault exam he conducted during the autopsy.
“Setting aside that you think it's sexual assault, what you're saying is it's consistent with a sexual act,” Lambert said.
“Studying the pattern of additional injuries we're seeing here, I would conclude that it's part of a sexual assault,” Thompson said. “However, if one were to find this laceration in an individual who was alive and said they'd had consensual sex, I'd have to accept it as part of that sex act.”
“Well, you can't rule out consensual sex,” Lambert said.
“I guess I cannot rule out consensual sex,” he said. “But I'm skeptical of that.”