go back to part 10

BY MR. DANDAR

Q Dr. Davis, your name appears on the autopsy because you conducted the autopsy, and as you sit here today, is it your testimony that you have no earthly idea why Dr. Wood or Mr. Bedore sent you all of the autopsy reports and lab reports as well as the original slides?

MR. WEINBERG: Other than what he's already said?

BY MR. DANDAR

Q Other than what you've already said.

A Not that I can answer --

MS. CARLUCCI: -- Don't speculate.

THE WITNESS: -- without speculation. I mean -

BY MR. DANDAR

Q When Dr. Wood said she bought her house from the scientologists and had her house scanned, did she indicate whether or not she found anything?

A First of all, she said she was going -- she was going to have it scanned -- okay? --

Q Okay.

A -- and I have not spoken with her because I really don't care.

MS. CARLUCCI: You're done.

THE WITNESS: Okay.

BY MR. DANDAR

Q Okay.

A But I'm sorry if I left the impression that that already had been done.

Q Okay.

A That was not -- I mean --

Q That's why I'm asking these questions to clarify things.

A All right.

Q Again, what's the definition of "hooded congestion"?

A Oh, it's -- first of all, I'm not sure that everybody uses it. I got that when I was in Dallas and it seemed to me like a fairly good description of, say, congestion, or what looks like congestion of the head and neck, and, actually, is a combination of congestion and lividity.

Q Okay. Now can you put that in layman's terms?

A Okay. When you die, wherever you fall, the blood is eventually going to accumulate in the dependent parts of your body, except for your buttocks and shoulders, and that's going to be white.

I between those areas, where the skin is not suffering pressure effects -THE WITNESS: Can you get me some coffee? Do we have any coffee --

MS. CARLUCCI: We can get some made.

THE WITNESS: Yeah, I'm getting tired.

MS. CARLUCCI: Stop your answer.

THE WITNESS: Oh.

MR. DANDAR: Sandy, could you pull out the right arm photo that you showed the doctor, Exhibit Five?

MR. WEINBERG: Yeah.

Showing him Photo 22 and 21, I think are the two.

MR. DANDAR: Okay.

BY MR. DANDAR:

Q Photo 22, Doctor, if you could just hold that up and point it to -- no, hold it just in front of you, so you can look at it, and then point it to the camera.

You mentioned --

MR. WEINBERG: I think you can put it down.

MR. DANDAR: Well, I've got it right here. BY MR. DANDAR:

Q You mentioned that there are -- quote, Mixed contusions and insect-appearing bites vary in greatest dimension from zero point two to zero point six centimeters are present over the dorsal aspect of the right hand.

Is that the dorsal aspect of the right hand depicted in the photograph in front of you?

A Hmm-hmm.

Q Could you show us the photograph and point to that area?

A (Witness complies) "Dorsal" means "back."

Q Now are those -- what you described in -- or what the Protocol describes as "mixed contusions and insect-appearing bites", can you point to the insect-appearing bites?

A Well, yes, realizing that this is signed by someone else -

Q That's why I called it -- said the "Protocol."

A The -- Okay. The --

Q Turn it this way, please. There you go.

A Okay. There is no vital reaction -- okay? -- around these small little areas here.

A vital reaction is a reaction in which you get a reaction like you've got here; a little circumference of say, for instance, a blood-like area surrounding this little ulcerated area --

Q Right.

A -- okay?

Now these -- this is consistent with an ante -- with an ante-mortem or -consistent with.

Q Right. I understand. Go ahead.

A Okay, consistent with an ante-mortem type of injury in which there's a sufficient circulation to be able to have a reaction to this.

In contrast, this is consistent -- these are consistent -- okay -- the little brown crusted area with nothing around them and very small are consistent with -- okay? -- animal activity "slash" -- you know, if you want to say insect bites; I guess you could. If you want to say roach activity, to me they're a little bit small, but, again, that's subjective.

Q Okay. What about the area above in the wrist area?

A Okay. Now this is, again, an area where you're not seeing any vital reaction around this, see?

Q What does that mean again?

A "Vital" again means what it did before -- see? -- and -

Q Sorry.

A -- and that was that the person -- well it does.

Q I'm sorry.

A Okay. It means that there's no -- that there's no hyperemia, if you will, which means sort of like a little blood reaction, because of the blood circulating to whatever could have hit this, if it were a hit, when the patient was alive.

Since there's none of that and since this looks a little bit bigger, this could be associate with either a -- you know, it could be consistent with an abrasion, in which it's old, or it could be consistent with insect "slash" roach activity; it could be consistent with it.

Q Could it be consistent with Lisa trying to fight against any type of restraint?

A Okay. This thing here, if that had occurred say perhaps, oh, days earlier -- okay? -- the reason, again, being, right here, I'm not seeing any vital reaction around this thing.

Q So what are you saying?

A Well, then it could be an abrasion.

Q Could it have been --

A And you're asking about the restraint.

Q Right.

A And so the restraint implies -- you understand what I'm saying?

Q No.

A Okay.

Q I don't.

A Okay. Your question was could it be consistent with a restraint and what I'm saying is if the restraint were on several days previously --

Q Right.

A -- okay? -- and perhaps there was a vital reaction, which now is not there -- okay? -- then that could be consistent.

Q Okay. Now on the right-hand side of that picture, if you could hold it up again, I believe -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that's the trunk area of her body; correct?

A Well --

Q Upper --

A -- that's her buttocks and upper thigh on the right side.

Q Is that the hip?

A Well, that's her --

Q I notice that there's a huge, what I'll just say, a purplish area.

A Yeah.

Q Can you put that out -- on the camera and tell us what that is?

A Well, there's more than one area --

Q I know.

A -- okay?

Right here is a purple area and -- okay.

Q Turn it just a little bit this way. There you go.

A Okay. Right here is sort of a purple area here?

Q Right.

A Okay. Right here is an area -- is a nice area, this one. This has got some green/brown stuff coming off from the side. See that?

Q Yeah. What does that mean?

A Okay. A section through here, if we stain it for iron, is going to show some hemosiderin, okay?

Q And what does that mean?

A And that suggests or is consistent with an older bruise, and I think I told you before that aging of bruises can be difficult, particularly recent versus old.

For instance, on this thing right here, if I were pressed by someone, I might have a hard time being dogmatic -- well, first of all, I think you have a hard time being dogmatic about the aging of these things, anyway -but, this could have been -- this could have been an old bruise with a superimposed recent one, because it's reddish-purple in the center, but on the other hand, the margins are irregular and you do see some irregular areas of yellow-green, so it could be a combination.

Q That --

A But I'd equivocate a lot more on this than I would on this.

Q Okay, and can that be consistent with being kicked?

A Any kind of blunt force, see. I mean -- and by "blunt force", I mean that in contrast to sharp force.

Q Right.

A Okay?

Q Okay. And Photograph Number 21 -

A Yeah.

Q -- is that, again, just a close-uper -- close -- listen to me; it is late -- is that a closeup of the picture we just looked at?

A Yeah, except the buttocks is out of focus.

Q Okay.

A The buttocks and thigh are out of focus and there's less seen there and there's no point in focusing on an -- I don't know what you're --

Q The hand. I'm talking bout the hand; is that just a --

A Yeah. Yeah.

Q -- a better description of the other --

A I don't know if it's any better. Why do you say "better"?

Q It has -- it's closer in view. More of the hand is shown or the arm?

A Yeah, if that's what you want.

Q Okay

All right, that's all for that.

A Okay.

MS. CARLUCCI: Hold on a second. I'm going to get some coffee.

(WHEREUPON the proceedings were in recess from 5:17 p.m. until 5:21 p.m.) BY MR. DANDAR:

Q Doctor, is there any significance that you did not find any food whatsoever in Lisa McPherson?

MR. WEINBERG: Food?

MR. DANDAR: Food.

THE WITNESS: Yeah. There --

MR. WEINBERG: You mean, where he looked in the stomach -

MR. DANDAR: Yeah, where he looked.

MR. WEINBERG: -- as opposed to the large and small intestine?

THE WITNESS: Food has got what they call an emptying time and that is predominantly a function of the size of the meal, but also, to an extent, the nature of the meal -- okay? -- and that emptying time can vary from say, ballpark, as little as a half hour up to two and a half to three hours of a massive meal of say solid food, and once it's emptied, it's emptied, and there's going to be nothing there except mucus and some of that can be bilous.

BY MR. DANDAR:

Q If, in fact -- I am correct in saying that you don't hold a lot of, in your personal opinion, weight in urine tests?

A In what?

Q Urine tests, to you, are not that significant?

A No. No. No. Urine tests are of considerable value from a qualitative standpoint -- okay? -- in my opinion, okay?

>From a quantitative standpoint, no, they are not as valuable say, for instance, as the blood is and the vitreous is, and -- but the urine can be quite valuable for say something that may have transpired as long as a month ago.

For instance, marijuana can show up, you know, three weeks or so after a guy may have had a cigarette and that will be present in the urine, but not in the blood.

Q Well, I want you to assume that, since you weren't there, that Dr. Wood had a urine test done in order to rule out any mistakes being made or that may have -- or alleged to have been made in the vitreous fluid examination.

A Hmm-hmm.

Q Do the urine test results on amended page four, are they consistent with the high levels of the vitreous urea nitrogen and sodium?

MS. CARLUCCI: Understanding this calls for speculation and this is a hypothetical question.

THE WITNESS: Hmm-hmm.

MR. WEINBERG: Object to the form.

THE WITNESS: I'd have to have their published normal range to be able to answer your question.

BY MR. DANDAR:

Q Okay.

A And I'm not seeing -- I'm not seeing a parenthesis with -- now, as I say, there can be quite a bit of variability.

Q Okay. While you were with District Six, did you have a fairly professional, normally professional relationship with Dr. Wood or did you two always either disagree with each other or -- or most of the time just business-as-usual agree? You know what I'm saying? Was there --

A Yeah.

Q -- anything going on there?

A I certainly respected her authority as the director of the office, number one; number two, as an administrator, particularly since I realized my own, as I was saying a few minutes ago, feelings that I wasn't there and realizing it was necessary to have an administrator.

She relied heavily on me during the time I was there for microscopics; that was, to me, understandable. That's been true, in terms of forensic pathology, in most places I've been and I would attribute that to the fact that during my clinical practice, I'd be looking at slides every day, see? And a good share of forensic pathology, one, is not associated with looking at slides every day.

Okay, two, you don't see the spectrum of things you might see in a clinical practice and you just don't have the frequency of looking at things.

There certainly were times where, you know, there'd be disagreements, but I've never been in any place where, given the situation, you wouldn't have some degree of difference.

If there weren't a situation where, from time to time, there were some differences, I think you ought to be a little suspicious about that. You know what I mean?

Q Okay.

A I mean, I don't know about you lawyers and everything, but --

Q We always agree on things.

A Yeah, you always agree on everything. Everything's right; right?

Q Now, I don't need to get into your -- the personal, in detail, but did you leave because you had a better offer over here in Volusia County or did you leave because you just had enough of Pinellas County or was it time to move on or --

A I think there were a combination of things. I -- one thing, I get more pay over here; for another, I thought that there was -- just seemed to me like Pinellas, Pasco, that area, there just were getting too many people per unit area and just too many people packed in there --

Q Right.

A -- and I just -- I didn't like that and I wanted to get out.

Q Now that you're over here, do you still get called upon to testify in cases that you worked on --

A Yes.

Q -- in Pinellas County?

A Yes.

Q Okay. So you still have an ongoing professional relationship with Dr. Wood?

A No. When I say "no", that needs some degree of explanation. I don't know

if it was a legal thing or not, but i felt a moral obligation to finish up

my cases, and so I finished -- there were something like twenty-four cases

at the time I left and so I finished all twenty-four of them -- see? -- and

I did that within a period of two, two and a half months.

So -- when I say "finished", I would get all this stuff we were talking

about and varying things and I'd look at the slides, I'd look at the toxicology, what was relevant, I'd look at these other things, and then I'd

go ahead and I'd sign the case out.

And -- well, actually, we'd dictate the thing and send it back over there

and then they dictated -- they'd type it on their format, send it back to

me and I would sign it on their format, okay?

Q When you say "send it back to me", you're over here in Volusia County?

A Yeah, right --

Q Okay.

A -- see, and that way, they would have it according to their format when

the case was done.

Q Okay.

A So I mean, there was a -- there's been a spirit of cooperation between

the two offices, but I had no reason to necessarily talk with Dr. Wood, as

I said, about anything --

Q Okay.

A -- see, and all the cases were signed out with the exception of one.

Q That's Lisa's case?

A That's right.

Q Okay. And you already explained that.

A Yes.

MR. DANDAR: All right. That's all the questions I have.

MR. WEINBERG: I have just a few.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. WEINBERG:

Q Taking your last statement first, when you left the office, you had approximately twenty-four or twenty-five outstanding cases?

A Yeah.

Q And while you were in Volusia County in the medical examiner's office, you signed out twenty-four of the twenty-five outstanding cases; is that right?

A Now, when I was in Volusia -- when I've been in Volusia, yeah, I signed out twenty-four of the twenty-five, right.

Q Right. Which means that you had done approximately twenty-five autopsies over in Pinellas, then you left, and -- and while you were gone from Pinellas, the Pinellas people sent you whatever you needed to --

A To finish the cases.

Q -- complete and you completed those cases, signed them out and they were published; correct?

A "Published"?

Q Or whatever. They were filed.

A They were archived.

Q Archived.

And the only one of your outstanding cases that they did not do that with is the Lisa McPherson case.

A That's correct; that's the one I sent back.

Q Okay. Now -- well, the material you got from Dr. Wood you didn't get until December 23rd, 1996 -- correct? -- that's what the fax shows.

A Yeah.

Q All right. Well, Dr. Wood issued that report -- signed out that report in October of 1996.

A Okay. It may well be that -- well, you pushed -- you pointed to all that stuff. You know --

MS. CARLUCCI: There's no question pending.

THE WITNESS: Okay, I'm sorry. All right.

BY MR. WEINBERG:

Q Now --

MR. DANDAR: I thought that was a question, though.

MR. WEINBERG: It's okay. I'm trying to get it done.

MS. CARLUCCI: I'm sorry if there was.

BY MR. WEINBERG:

Q At the time you left the medical examiner's office in Pinellas County, you had access to the histologic slides that had been done from the Lisa McPherson autopsy; correct?

A Hmm-hmm.

Q You had access to the photos that had been taken; correct?

A Hmm-hmm.

Q You had access to the results from the vitreous tests; correct?

A Yes.

Q You had access to the Protocol that you had dictated; correct?

A To the draft, yes.

Q But with all of that, you were still unable to reach -- to make final conclusions as to the manner or cause of death; is that correct?

A That's right.

Q Do you know anything else that Dr. Wood had at the time she signed out the report in October of 1996, other than what I've just described?

A I had -- I wasn't in the office. I wasn't privy --

Q Is the answer no, you don't know of anything else?

A That's right. I know of nothing else.

Q Okay. All right. Now you were asked a few questions about diarrhea and you said that's a clinical --

A Yeah, frequency or --

Q -- condition.

Now diarrhea can lead to weight loss; is that correct?

A Yes.

Q Diarrhea -- significant diarrhea could cause one to become somewhat dehydrated; right?

A Yes.

Q I mean, when someone's suffering from cholera -

A Yes. Yes.

Q -- dehydration can kill you; right?

A Yes, that's right.

Q Diarrhea can lead to the absence of food in the intestines.

A Yes.

Q Diarrhea can lead to rapid weight loss; correct?

A Yes.

Q And it could lead to -- to rapid dehydration.

A Yes.

Q Now you were asked a lot of questions about being septic or sepsis. What is septic?

A That means the presence of an organism in your bloodstream that's infecting you -- okay? -- and its significance is that it's severe in the sense that being in the bloodstream, the blood circulates to all the organs of the body and, therefore, all organs of the body are exposed to the particular organism, if not involved. Doesn't necessarily mean that all of them are involved, but that's, in distinction, say, to something like pneumonia which might be a localized infection, say, with regard to your lung, but it's not in your bloodstream, so it doesn't spread all over the place.

Q Okay. And as I understand it -- and if I understood what you said, it is more difficult on -- in an autopsy to determine whether the person on the table had been suffering from some sepsis as opposed to making a determination through a laboratory test that one had a meningitis condition; is that what you said?

A Yes, that's correct.

Q You didn't exclude anything, other than meningitis, in this case. It did appear that she did not have meningitis -- is that right? -- from the lab tests?

A Well -- Okay. Realizing, once again, I'm not privy to everything else, I didn't feel -- and we went through this; your question about the nature of the bruises, okay?

I didn't feel that I could implicate, particularly after the autopsy, sufficient physical trauma, per se, and then, of course, you can -- you know, you can speculate about the mechanism of where that trauma could occur from.

It could occur from being self-inflicted, it could occur from someone else inflicting upon you, it could be an accident, et cetera, et cetera, but I didn't feel that I saw significant injury, other than relatively superficial, to implicate that as a cause of death.

Q So that if one had been beaten up, for example, by -- you know, by a mugger or something like that, you would more typically find something more severe, like broken bones or ruptured organs of -- or, you know, deep hematomas.

A Sure.

Q -- or actually cuts.

A If they died. I mean -- you know. It doesn't mean that a person couldn't be beaten and still have those kind of things, but I don't know that I could implicate the bruises that I saw as being adequate to cause death.

Q Okay. Now do you know what the purpose of Dr. Wood and Dr. -- and Mr. Bedore's phone call, fax and FedEx to you was in December and/or January of 19 --

A No. No, I don't know.

Q Okay. With regard to the -- was it as a result of that contact that -that you got counsel?

A What?

Q Was it as a result of the contact from Dr. Wood and Mr. Bedore in -- at the end of 1996 or early 1997 that caused you to get counsel? Is that what caused you to get counsel?

A I would say the predominant cause was -- well, no, it wasn't.

Q Now you indicated that -- you called it "emptying time", as far as identifying, you know, something in the --

A Hmm-hmm.

Q -- intestines or the stomach.

I take it that they emptying time for a liquid is less than the emptying time for a solid.

A Yes.

MR. WEINBERG: That's all my questions. Thanks.

MS. CARLUCCI: Anything else?

MR. WEINBERG: I don't think so. Not right now.

MR. DANDAR: No, I have nothing else, at this time.

THE WITNESS: All right.

MR. WEINBERG: Well, we haven't got the file and I don't know what -

MR. DANDAR: That ends the deposition. The time is 5:42.

(THEREUPON the testimony was concluded at 5:42 p.m.)


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