Injuries reviewed in murder trial

 

Marcos Duran was killed by a perforating gunshot wound to the head, Justice Charles Quin heard on Monday during the trial of Jordan Manderson. 

Mr. Manderson, charged with murdering Mr. Duran, was shot the same night, 11 March, 2010. On Friday, an orthopaedic surgeon told the court that a bullet had fractured the large bone of Mr. Manderson’s lower leg; then the smaller bone in the leg fractured because it could not bear his body weight. 

The surgeon, Dr. Ajit Ambekar, had operated on Mr. Manderson and submitted a report on the defendant’s treatment. Questioned by Cheryll Richards, director of Public Prosecutions, he agreed he had been asked if Mr. Manderson’s injury could have been self-inflicted, but that question was outside his area of expertise. 

The Crown’s case, as opened by Ms Richards on 17 May, is that there was a plan to rob Mr. Duran outside a West Bay apartment building and Mr. Manderson was one of the robbers. A struggle ensued and Mr. Duran was shot while he was on the upstairs landing. The Crown contends Mr. Manderson received his injury in that same struggle. 

The pathologist who examined Mr. Duran’s body did not attend court in person, as Defence Attorney David Fisher agreed to his evidence. Ms Richards read into the record portions of the report by Dr. Bruce Hyma and then handed the complete report up to Justice Quin, who is hearing the matter without a jury. 

Mr. Hyma said in his examination he found gunshot wounds to Mr. Duran’s head and right hand. There was an entry wound to the top right side of the head and an exit wound on the left side. No projectiles or fragments were recovered from the wound track. The overall pathway of the bullet was front to back, right to left and downward. There was no evidence of hair being singed or soot around the entry wound. 

Another gunshot wound was at the left eyebrow. Mr. Hyma’s report said he recovered a projectile from this wound and handed it over to Scenes of Crime Officer Stephen Best, who attended the post mortem examination. 

Mr. Best gave evidence of sending various items, including this projectile, to firearms examiner Allen Greenspan in Florida. Mr. Greenspan t 

old the court that this particular projectile was a copper-coated hollow-point .22-calibre bullet. 

Evidence of Mr. Manderson’s injuries was given by Mr. Ambekar in person on Friday. He told the court he saw the patient about 9pm on 11 March 

, 2010, but was not the first doctor to examine him. The patient was bleeding profusely and was rushed to the operating theatre for procedures to stop the bleeding. The patient had a wound on the inner aspect of his left leg just below the knee; there were no obvious bullet pieces but there were shattered pieces of bone and torn muscle. He had a second wound on the outside aspect just below the middle of the leg, with the edges of the wound turned outward. 

The injuries were compatible with a bullet wound entry and exit. 

He said the trajectory of inner to outer and above downwards indicated the gun that fired the bullet was at a level higher than the patient’s knee and to the right of the patient’s knee. 

Questioned by Mr. Fisher, the surgeon said the patient 

, after being shot, could have taken a few steps, but he would be very surprised if he could walk even 10 steps before the second bone broke. “He would also be hobbling in severe pain so he wouldn’t be walking normally unless he took his weight on his other leg and just hopped,” Mr. Ambekar added. 

He agreed that going down stairs does put more weight on the bone than just walking, but added that it would depend on how much use is made of the intact leg. 

Mr. Fisher asked about possible positions of the leg and the gun. Mr. Ambekar said the bullet hit the leg at an acute angle, within 20 to 40 degrees. Questioned further, he said he thought the leg was vertical and bearing weight at the time. 

He volunteered that he had discussed the matter with another surgeon and a radiological specialist. “We wish we had the facility to check for cordite on the skin: That would have given us some idea of the distance between the leg and the gun,” he said. 

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