By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
Both the jury and the victim’s family were visibly upset by the graphic autopsy photos revealed during the Jodi Arias murder trial on Tuesday, as radio detection and rangingOnline.com can reveal from inside the courtroom.
Dr. Kevin Horn performed the autopsy on victim Travis Alexander on June 12, 2008, and told the Maricopa County court disturbing details of his death, along adding speculation to the order of his extensive injuries.
As radio detection and rangingOnline.com previously reported, Jodi, now 32, is accused of shooting 30-year-old motivational speaker and former boyfriend in the face, stabbing him 27 times and slitting his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa, Arizona home.
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She has admitted to the killing but is claiming it was in self defense.
Dr. Horn told prosecutor Juan Martinez that Alexander was most likely stabbed first and then shot, saying he believed Travis suffered defensive knife wounds on his hands and wrists “from a sharp-edged object. I believe he was alive.”
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The medical examiner went on to reveal the extensive injuries suffered by the 5’9″ man at the hands of Arias, including injury to his shoulder, a stab wound under the chin that “penetrates a major vessel going into the heart,” bruising on his shin possibly from blunt force trauma or being dragged before death, two deep incision wounds to the skull, and clusters of nine deep stab wounds to his back on and between the shoulder blades.
The graphic and violent nature of the attack combined with autopsy photos of their brother’s bruised and bloated body was too much for his sisters, Samantha Alexander and Tanisha Alexander Sorrenson, who after doubling over and hiding their faces from the horror, both left the courtroom during the testimony.
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Most disturbing was the image of the gaping slash wound across the devout Mormon’s throat that went three or four inches deep, “passes through the airway so the windpipe is cut through,” and severed the jugular vein and carotid artery, said Dr. Horn, who explained that Travis was still alive at that point.
When asked if there was any hesitation marks in the deep cut, he replied: “We don’t see anything like that here.”
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In addition to the multiple knife wounds, Alexander was also shot with a .25 semi-automatic gun and the bullet “passed down through the skull through the face and downward to the left and terminates in the left cheek.
“He would be incapacitated… rapidly,” determined Horn, and may even have been dead at the time of the shooting.
After much debate about the actual cause of death, Horn said he believes it was “primarily blood loss,” and both the neck wound and the gunshot would have caused unconsciousness within a few seconds, and the stabbing “would definitely cause death without medical attention.”
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Under heated cross examination from defense attorneyJennifer Wilmot, the medical examiner said he did not recall telling Detective Esteban Flores that the shooting was the first injury, as claimed in pre-trial interviews. “The bullet had to have passed through the right frontal lobe of the brain,” he repeatedly stressed.
As with earlier testimony in the trial that could send her to death row, Arias appeared deeply upset and tearful, often removing her glasses and hugging her arms close around her.
Stay with radio detection and rangingOnline.com for updates and the daily live-streaming of the trial when it continues on Wednesday.
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