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GERLACH TRIAL DAY 4: Medical Examiner, Neighbors, And Forensic Team Leader Testify

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Dr. Sally Aiken explains to the jury Kaluza-Graham's gunshot wound Dr. Sally Aiken explains to the jury Kaluza-Graham's gunshot wound
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Day 4 of the Gail Gerlach Trial began with Medical Examiner Dr. Sally Aiken taking the stand to testify. Aiken began by explaining her background and experience, saying she has performed more than 7,000 autopsies during her career.

Aiken responded to the scene where Gail Gerlach shot Brendon Kaluza-Graham to make sure the evidence and body were preserved, as well as to offer preliminary information about injuries. Aiken arrived at the scene after Kaluza-Graham was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to head, which is when her legal jurisdiction kicks in.Aiken testified that at the autopsy she found two quarters, a cigarette lighter, a pocket knife, bills, and pennies inside the jeans Kaluza-Graham was wearing.

Aiken pulled out a styrofoam model of a human head to explain to the jury where the gunshot wound was, and then described the process of doing an internal examination of the head wound. She showed the jury six graphic photos from the autopsy, while describing the size of the wound as 1 centimeter in diameter. Aiken said the path of the bullet was from the back of the head to the front, and the bullet 'pulpified' a major artery that supplies blood to the brain. Aiken told the jury Kaluza-Graham's death would have taken "moments" and he would not have been able to physically move after being shot. Aiken said she found no other injury and the SUV crash would not have caused Kaluza-Graham's death.

Aiken told the court at the time Kaluza-Graham was shot, he could not have been turning around facing backward, based on the trajectory of the bullet.

Following the testimony of Dr. Aiken, a 15-year-old neighbor of Gerlach who was waiting for the bus that morning took the stand. The boy told the court he and his friends heard a loud bang, a car accelerating, and then saw the car hit a tree and crash into the garage. The boy said he and his friends were terrified and ran half a block to get out of the way of the SUV.

Following that boy's testimony, the man who owns the garage where the SUV crashed following the shooting took the stand. He said the collision completely destroyed his garage, his car and his late wife's car. The man was home at the time and said because he is hard of hearing he didn't see or hear anything. The insurance company replaced the garage, but it is now smaller than it was.

Another neighbor then took the stand and said that morning he thought he heard a gunshot, saw the SUV drive by, and was worried about the kids at the bus stop. The neighbor said in a span of about 2 seconds, he heard a gunshot, the engine rev, and saw the driver of the SUV with his hands in the air.

Following neighbor testimony, forensic specialist Jody Dewey was called the stand. Dewey was called in to process the crime scene and the lead detective gave him and his team a walk-through of the scene. That walk-through was played on video for the jury. The video showed Kaluza-Graham's body on a stretcher, as well as crime scene tape, police cars, the SUV, and the garage. The forensic team wasn't allowed in the garage for safety reasons.

Another video was shown during Dewey's testimony: surveillance video from the house across the street.

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