Day 9 of CPD officer trial: Forensic and toxicology testimony

Published: Apr. 16, 2015 at 12:47 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2015 at 9:12 PM EDT
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Testimony continued Thursday in the Cleveland Police officer trial.

Michael Brelo is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after the deadly police chase and shooting on Nov. 29, 2012.

The court heard more forensic testimony Thursday. Some of the testimony was about toxicology test results. They looked for alcohol or drugs in the systems of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

There were also more autopsy evidence. This time from the pathologist who performed one on Williams. Dr. Joseph Felo told the court that Malissa Williams body had 24 gunshot wounds. As they did with Timothy Russell investigators transferred the coroners findings onto a mannequin using trajectory rods, showing the angles slugs entered her body. As with Russell, most are from above.

Toxicologist Dr. Harold Schueler found that both Russell and Williams had cocaine in their systems. She a higher level along with marijuana, he had cocaine with more than one and a half times the legal limit of alcohol. A dangerous mix. Prosecutors asked Schueler "The combination increases levels of dopamine in the brain and then we have increased euphoria. And studies have shows increased impulsive and violent behavior." After an objection was overruled he answered "Yes."

Chemicals found in Russell's blood indicate when he used cocaine. Schueler said "I can say probably within 2 to 4 hours." The same tests on Williams was more telling according to Scheuler who said "Typically we don't see these levels for a single use. I would put that at less than an hour."

One of the questions sure to be asked on cross examination is with so many bullets inflicting fatal or potentially fatal wounds, how can you say for sure Michael Brelo's shots alone were the kill shots.

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