Jodi Arias – Kevin Horn – Cross

Cross Examination of Dr. Kevin Horn ( Medical Examiner )

AUDIO SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tZKYBlfkxI (2:09:12 – 2:47:56)

Provided by someone who has chosen to remain anonymous, thank you.

Contents

Flores

Height and weight

Wounds on back

Gunshot wound

Stab wound to vena cava

Photo of Travis

More on gunshot wound

Arrows

More on Flores

Change of story

Ten years ago

AnchorFlores

Jennifer Willmott: Good afternoon, Dr. Horn.

Kevin Horn: Good afternoon.

Jennifer Willmott: I… Okay. So you’re obviously the doctor that performed the autopsy on Mr. Alexander, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And were you the only doctor that did that?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And present during the autopsy was Detective Flores, right?

Kevin Horn: Again, referring to my autopsy report, Detective Barrientos and Detective Flores were present.

Jennifer Willmott: And that’s Detective Flores here, sitting at the prosecution’s table?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And so- and when they’re present, that means they are able to watch what you’re doing.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And if they had a question, they can always ask you?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And if you had- they’re there to collect evidence too, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And, if you had something or you noted something, you can certainly tell the detectives, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And there was no issues. I mean, he was free to ask you questions if he had any.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: After the autopsy, he would have been free- Detective Barrientos or Detective Flores would have been free to call you if they had follow-up questions, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: In other words, you don’t just do this autopsy and then forget about it.

Kevin Horn: That’s right.

Jennifer Willmott: And so- and you certainly would take Detective Flores’s calls if he called you.

Kevin Horn: Yes, I would.

Jennifer Willmott: And in fact, at some point you did speak to Detective Flores later, didn’t you?

Kevin Horn: I may have. I don’t recall.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Well he’s considered what we call a ‘case agent.’ Are you familiar with that term?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And that means that he is like the point person for the investigation, right?

Kevin Horn: I believe so.

Jennifer Willmott: As far as the policy agency, if you had needed to say anything, it would be Detective Flores, or the case agent, that you would say it to.

Kevin Horn: Right, or if I needed further information I would contact that detective, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And he was always open you, as far as you know, right?

Kevin Horn: As far as I know.

AnchorHeight and weight

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Now during this autopsy, you learned that- I think you said that Mr. Alexander was 5 foot 9 inches?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And at the time of the autopsy, the weight was 189?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And if you need to refer to your report, just let me know.

Kevin Horn: Thank you.

Jennifer Willmott: The 189 pounds, I believe that would be during the autopsy, so more likely in life he weighed more than that. Is that right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Do you have an- do you have any type of an opinion about how much more he would typically weigh?

Kevin Horn: I would go by his driver’s license or recollections of family. I don’t have that information.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. But we do know that at an aut- at the point of an autopsy, especially when somebody’s lost blood, they’re going to weigh less than what they did in life.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

AnchorGunshot wound

Jennifer Willmott: I want to talk to you a little bit about the gunshot wound, okay?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. Now, we looked at the pictures, and from the pictures it looks as though the gunshot wound- the gunshot goes in, there’s an entry- well, you’re familiar with an entry wound, what that means, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And an exit wound?

Kevin Horn: Yes. There is no exit wound in this case.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And a- and an exit wound is when a projectile is leaving the body.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So there’s an entry wound right above his right brow. Is that right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And, just in the middle of his brow. Just above it, actually.

Kevin Horn: It’s above it, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And you said there’s no exit wound.

Kevin Horn: No exit wound.

Jennifer Willmott: So that means that during the autopsy you recovered the projectile in his left cheek, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Or ‘correct,’ I should say. And, it was in- we know that the trajectory, which is the pathway of the bullet, right? That’s the-

Kevin Horn: It’s the direction, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: The direction. So we know that the direction of the bullet, based on the where it went in and where it lodged, we know that it was coming in from the left and going down.

Kevin Horn: Coming in from the right and going down and ending up on the left side.

Jennifer Willmott: I’m sorry, heading left.

Kevin Horn: Heading left, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, right. Coming in from the right-hand side, heading in the direction of left, and then lodging in the left cheek.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And it was coming in a downward position, right?

Kevin Horn: It may have been deflected by the bone, since it’s passing through the skull. So, it’s position in the cheek may not be the- the actual trajectory at the beginning of its path.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So, and you know… I would assume, from being a doctor, I’ve always heard that head wounds bleed. The scalp is something that bleeds a lot. Is that true?

Kevin Horn: Yes, scalp wounds do bleed.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, so a head wound- a bullet entry wound on- above on the scalp, just above- or, not the scalp, but just above in the forehead, is that something that’s going to have a lot of blood associated with it typically?

Kevin Horn: In a living person, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And so, if this bullet wound is made in- while Mr. Alexander’s living, there’s going to be blood coming out of it, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And it would be- of course in the pictures, we just see a small little hole. But when it actually happened, if Mr. Alexander was living, there would have been quite a bit of blood coming from there.

Kevin Horn: Generally, yes. It depends on what other wounds have happened.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay.

Kevin Horn: So if the throat’s already been cut and he’s already been bleeding from that wound, then there might be considerably less blood from that wound.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Assuming, though, that Mr. Alexander was alive at the time that the gunshot wound is done, so the heart is still pumping, in that situation, you would agree, right, that there would be lots of blood coming from the gunshot wound.

Kevin Horn: In that abstract sense, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And then the left cheek, the- the projectile lodging in the left cheek, that’s something that would typically cause bleeding, wouldn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Wherever it is along its path, it’s going to cause bleeding along the path. So yes, there would be bleeding into the cheek, there’d be bleeding into the forehead, and into the skull intervening.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And in the cheek where you- where you were able to recover the projectile, that would be something that, had Mr. Alexander been alive, blood would be going from his cheek and probably into his mouth, wouldn’t it?

Kevin Horn: I don’t have any evidence that it passed through his mouth, so if it’s actually going through- and when I say ‘cheek,’ I mean, I do mean this bone up here, the maxilla, which is really not connected to the oral cavity except by the sinus. So I’m not saying that it went through his oral cavity.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So you’re talking about it being lodged in the cheek bone?

Kevin Horn: Cheek bone, or beyond the cheek bone, up here in the soft tissue, above where the mouth is.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, and you said that’s connected to mouth through the sinus cavity?

Kevin Horn: Right, there’s a maxillary sinus. Right, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. So if there was bleeding associated with that then, would we expect to see blood into the sinus or through the nose, and then eventually into the mouth?

Kevin Horn: It’s likely, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And, you talked about the pathway. Well let me ask you this. You talked a little bit on direct about not knowing the distance from the muzzle of the gun to Mr. Alexander.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: So, when you’re talking about that, you’re really talking about things like stippling, right?

Kevin Horn: Stippling or soot, the deposits on the skin.

Jennifer Willmott: Soot.

Kevin Horn: Right.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Can you tell us what ‘stippling’ is?

Kevin Horn: Stippling is, sometimes out of the end of a firearm, if the person’s close enough when they’re being shot, you’ll have little pieces of burning gun powder that will come out of the end of the gun and will embed themselves in the skin. And so you’ll get these little tiny dots, little stipple marks, around the wound. And when we see that, we usually say that’s an ‘intermediate’ range of fire. And it depends on the type of firearm you’re using, but it may be a couple of feet away, or maybe up to a yard away, depending on what gun is used.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So when we- when you see stippling, you would- that tells you that the muzzle of the gun was probably within two to three feet away from the person?

Kevin Horn: Depending on the gun. So some could be considerably further away, some could be closer to that and leave stippling. So what you’d have to do is actually get the gun and test fire it.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Now, when you talk about stippling and it leaving marks, those are actual burn marks, aren’t they?

Kevin Horn: They’re abrasions, and they may be- there may be some burn to that, but most of the time it’s just, it’s an abrasion and it’s a piece of gunpowder that’s embedding itself in the skin.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And those abrasions, they’re not just going to go away if somebody were to- to pour water over them, right?

Kevin Horn: No, they’re embedded in the skin.

Jennifer Willmott: So, we know that Mr. Alexander’s body was found in the shower and that it appeared that there was water, at some point, put over his body.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: That’s not going to get rid of any stippling, right?

Kevin Horn: It may wash out some of the gunpowder fragments, but the marks, the stipple marks would still be there, generally.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And you’re confident that you would be able to know that, right, from your experience.

Kevin Horn: Well, with decomposition, it may be less apparent, but in looking at him and looking at his face, I didn’t see any stipple marks.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And so, based on the fact that there’s no stippling marks, you can say- I know you talk about an ‘indeterminate’ range of fire, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And that means- what does that mean to you?

Kevin Horn: That means I couldn’t determine a range of fire, based on the autopsy alone.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. But, because there’s no stippling, doesn’t it also mean that we know that the gun certainly wasn’t next to his forehead?

Kevin Horn: I don’t think it’s a contact wound. A contact wound will usually leave like a star-shaped tear, and I don’t see that here. If it’s not right up against the skin but it’s very close, you usually see soot, and not stippling. I don’t see soot, I don’t see a star-shaped tear, and I don’t see stippling. So that, for me, takes it out beyond the range of an intermediate. So it’s either a distant range, or indeterminate. And indeterminate range of fire could be that- that there’s some object in between the face and the gun. So, if there’s a garment, a towel, something like that, that can also cause you to be unable to determine range of fire.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. So you know- you know that we’re talking at least two to three feet away, if not more, because of the no stippling.

Kevin Horn: That’s likely.

AnchorWounds on back

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. I want to talk to you a little bit about the wounds on the back, okay? All in all, on the back, there was nine wounds. Is that correct? Not on- I’m sorry, on the upper back, let me be more specific.

Kevin Horn: Yes, a cluster of nine stab wounds on the upper back.

Jennifer Willmott: And I think that’s what you called a grouping?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And they are in between his shoulders, is that right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And, these wounds you’d consider very shallow, is that right?

Kevin Horn: They are shallow, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And, I’m going to show you what’s in evidence as 193. Alright, that’s 193 and that’s a picture of the wounds in between the shoulders, the grouping on the back, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And, you see that there’s a center- there’s these in the center, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: This group. And there’s three here to the- his right shoulder. More towards his right shoulder, I should say.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Now the group in the center, those actually are more of a straight on direction, aren’t they?

Kevin Horn: They appear to be straight, yes. There’s about equal amount of tissue on either side.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. So, in other words, those are not- the ones that are- the grouping in the center, those are not a diagonal, as far as you can- diagonally incoming.

Kevin Horn: Well, I think we got off on a sidetrack on direct that the directionality, like the way that they’re oriented is in a diagonal, but the track itself going into the tissue is pretty much straight on.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So when you talk about direction of diagonal, you’re talking about that the wound is-

Kevin Horn: The wound itself it diagonal.

Jennifer Willmott: -is not vertical, up and down.

Kevin Horn: Right.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And so directionality we’re talking- when we talk about directionality, we’re talking about where the instrument might have been coming from.

Kevin Horn: Yes, in terms of a trajectory.

Jennifer Willmott: Yes, okay. So in terms of the trajectory, we’re looking at the center in the back, and those look like the instrument would have been coming more of a straight on. Is that right?

Kevin Horn: More straight on from back to front, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And, the grouping on the right, we can see that those look more like they are coming at a diagonal. The trajectory would be diagonal.

Kevin Horn: Right. If you look at the tissue on the side, you can see that whitish tissue in the margin, and you’re seeing fatty tissue that is being sort of shaved as the knife is going in. So, when I look at these three wounds here, it looks like the knife is actually going in from- a little bit from right to left and into the back.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, so from right to left. So- so going in from his right shoulder heading towards his middle. Is that correct?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And, you already talked about these wounds being shallow. When you see shallow wounds, that would typically mean that there’s less force applied, right?

Kevin Horn: Well, it depends on what the object is that’s being penetrated. In this case, there’s lots of bone underneath these. So, whatever force was applied was insufficient to break through a rib or breakthrough into the spine.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Well, if you assume that the same instrument is used for all these different wounds, we know that some of these wound are deeper than others, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And, per- for example, the wound that penetrates into and perforates the vena cava, that one.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Right? The one that hits the vein that leads to the heart.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: That one was much deeper, wasn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And, so typically- and that had to go through cartilage also.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And so that one would require more force, wouldn’t it?

Kevin Horn: More than just going through soft tissue or fat, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And in these instances, the wounds on the back, those ones you didn’t see any chipping of the bone or anything like that.

Kevin Horn: No.

Jennifer Willmott: And you’d agree, wouldn’t you, that if somebody were… If somebody were standing, and they were fa- if the two people were standing facing each other, and the person with the knife is reaching over the back, that’s going to have less force to it, wouldn’t it, then somebody who’s standing behind and being able to drive the knife right in without stop.

Kevin Horn: Generally, I’d agree with that, yes.

AnchorStab wound to vena cava

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Alright, so the wound to the- the one that we were just talking about to the vena cava. In the pictures, we saw that there’s- it’s- it was basically in the middle of below his chest, right?

Kevin Horn: Lower-right chest, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And that one, you said, would eventually be fatal without medical attention.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And that’s due to blood loss?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: That wound, you were able to tell a direction or a trajectory on that wound, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes. It’s- it’s pretty much straight into the chest cavity from the right side of the chest.

Jennifer Willmott: Oh, okay. Doesn’t it- doesn’t it have a slipper- slightly upper trajectory?

Kevin Horn: If it is, it’s very slight. Because the heart is right- the vena cava’s right in that location where the wound is.

Jennifer Willmott: Well doesn’t it have- and I don’t know, let me know if you need to see a picture, but doesn’t it have an undetermined lower edge so that it’s going to be a slightly upper trajectory as it’s going in?

Kevin Horn: Undetermined? I don’t know…

Jennifer Willmott: Lower edge.

Kevin Horn: I don’t know what you mean by ‘undetermined lower edge.’ Undermined?

Jennifer Willmott: Undermined, I’m sorry.

Kevin Horn: Undermined. Yes, well that would indicate that the blade is- is angled slightly upward as it’s going into the skin. So if you see more tissue on the lower part than the upper part, then that’s consistent with that. We also have to keep in mind that this is a decomposed person, so the characters of the wounds can change a bit.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. But based on what you saw, you would say that based on the- the- what you were just talking about, the undermined edge-

Kevin Horn: Undermining.

Jennifer Willmott: Based on that, you can tell us that, more than likely, there was- it was going in at an upper trajectory, right?

Kevin Horn: Generally, that’s true, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And that means that it’s going from down to up.

Kevin Horn: Yes. As the tip of the wound- as the tip of the weapon is going into the body it has a slightly upward trend to it, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And that- and that can happen when somebody is taller than the person who has the knife, right? You have to reach up.

Kevin Horn: In a general way, yes, that’s true.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And you said that one… But that one is mostly straight in as far as it’s- in other words, it’s not diagonal coming from the right or the left. Is that correct?

Kevin Horn: The vena cava is slightly on the right side of the body, the right side of the chest, so it’s right underneath where the stab wound goes in. So it’s essentially straight in, and maybe with a slight-ward up- slightly upward trajectory.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Judge, may I approach?

The Court: Yes.

AnchorPhoto of Travis

Jennifer Willmott: Dr. Horn, I know you haven’t seen that photo prior to today, is that right?

Kevin Horn: No, I haven’t.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. In that photo, can you see a person’s head?

Kevin Horn: I think so.

Jennifer Willmott: And his shoulder?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And what appears to be an arm?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And then, at the very back portion of the picture- and you can tell it’s a distance because it’s small, is a foot, right?

Kevin Horn: It could be a foot, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. I’m going to ask you to assume that that picture is of Mr. Alexander, okay?

Kevin Horn: Okay.

Jennifer Wilmot: And, Judge, I was going to ask to publish to the jury for demonstrative purposes.

The Court: And the exhibit number for the record?

Jennifer Willmott: 192? 1-

Kevin Horn: 162.

Jennifer Willmott: 162.

Juan Martinez: And, Judge, I would move it into evidence, 162.

The Court: Any objection?

Jennifer Willmott: No objection.

The Court: 162 is admitted and you may publish.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, so what we were talking about is here you can see what appears to be a head, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright, and this appears to be an arm?

Kevin Horn: I think so, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, and then this would be somebody’s shoulder?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And then the very distant part of the picture you can see what appears to be a foot?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: So, in this picture would appear to be somebody lying down, almost, on the floor, right? It appears that the person is lying down.

Kevin Horn: I think if this is tile here, yes, that would be him laying on his back.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And you can see what would appear to be blood, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Something that’s dripping over his shoulder.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And that would be, that would be the person’s right shoulder, wouldn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And also in this picture the arm is up, isn’t it?

Kevin Horn: It looks like it’s flexed up, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, so in other words, it’s not just laying limp on the floor, right?

Kevin Horn: Right.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And, the head is also up, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes, except that I don’t know what this blue object is, if it’s something that the head’s resting against or what this is in the foreground.

Jennifer Willmott: Does this appear to be like a foot and then a pant leg?

Kevin Horn: Could be.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. But from what you can tell from the shoulder, the shoulder doesn’t- the shoulder is definitely off the ground, isn’t it?

Kevin Horn: I think so.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And, assume for the second if this is Mr. Alexander, once the wound to the neck occurs, having his head up and his arm up, certainly his head up, that would be near impossible, wouldn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Well, like I said, he’s going to have a few seconds of consciousness. I mean, certainly enough, if he’s laying on the ground, to raise an arm or raise a head. That wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility.

Jennifer Willmott: But, unlikely, isn’t it?

Kevin Horn: I wouldn’t say that, no. I wouldn’t think he’d be getting up and walking around, but picking your head up and moving your arm is not impossible.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, and you can see the blood coming over the shoulder, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And if there was a neck wound at this point, wouldn’t you expect to see quite a bit more blood than that?

Kevin Horn: I don’t see what’s underneath him. That seems to be a lot of blood to me. But I have no way of quantifying or telling how much is here just based on this photo.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And- but we do know that the blood is on the right-hand side, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And… And we can tell that, at least from the picture, it looks like the blood is dripping down the back. There’s- in other words, it’s like a drip, isn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Right. There’s a- I mean, there’s a large area of blood going back and there’s some dripping on either side of that large area of blood.

AnchorMore on gunshot wound

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And, we do know for sure that the gunshot wound was to his right side, wasn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: I want to talk to you a little bit more about the gunshot wound. Let’s see. And we know with the gunshot wound, obviously you discuss it in your examination report.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And… And you talk about the track of the bullet begins in the frontal skull. Is that right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And when you refer to the frontal skull, you’re referring to a bone.

Kevin Horn: Yes, the frontal bone of the skull.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And we know it ends in the facial skeleton near the left cheek.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And again, as you told me earlier, the facial skeleton, you’re referring to a bone.

Kevin Horn: Right, the maxillary bone.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. Now, in your- in your report- and let me just ask you, you did this report- actually, you did the autopsy on June 12th of 2008. Is that right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So on June 12th of 2008 after doing your report, you found that there was no evidence, no- without no gross evidence of significant intracranial hemorrhage. Is that right? And I’m looking on page 4.

Kevin Horn: Yes. Yes, page 4 of my report.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And when you talk about significant intracranial hemorrhage, you’re talking about bleeding through the brain. Is that right?

Kevin Horn: Right. And at this- at this point, the brain is really non-existent. It’s almost- you can’t examine it. It’s become liquid.

Jennifer Willmott: You can’t examine it at all?

Kevin Horn: It’s very difficult.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, well- but didn’t you actually take slices of the brain? And I’m referring to page 7.

Kevin Horn: Yes. So it is softened, it’s not liquefied. It is still present but it’s softened.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. So- so you were able to- it’s still there, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes, it’s always there, it’s just the state that it’s in.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So the state that it was in though is that you were able to actually take what’s called autolyzed bra- multiple serial sections of autolyzed brain.

Kevin Horn: Right. So the autolysis, or ‘autolyzed,’ that’s a term that refers to the liquefy- liquefied brain tissue, or very softened brain tissue.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And when you talk about multiple serial section, does that mean that you’re taking slices of the brain to look through it?

Kevin Horn: As best I can, I’m running a knife through the brain and trying to examine it.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay.

Kevin Horn: But that may be actual sections, or it may just be in- in terms of trying to inspect the internal parts of that tissue, whatever’s there.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And- but according to your report, that’s what you did, right?

Kevin Horn: Right.

Jennifer Willmott: And in there- so… So in this part of your report, after going through these sections, again you say, “it does not reveal the presence of grossly apparent trauma.” Is that right?

Kevin Horn: Right.

Jennifer Willmott: So, by taking through these sections, again, you don’t find any evidence of trauma or like a bullet tracked through the brain.

Kevin Horn: Nothing, so clearly (inaudible). No hemorrhage, no foreign bodies, no metal fragments, right.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And we know that people who have had injuries to their brains, depending on the section of their brain, they’re not always incapacitated, isn’t that true?

Kevin Horn: For the most part, if you have a bullet pass through the brain, you’re not going to be standing, you’re not going to be functional. You’re going to fall. And, like I said earlier in direct, it may not be immediately fatal. In fact, it likely wasn’t, passing through the frontal part of the brain especially. It’s not a as vital- I mean, they’re all vital structures, but it’s not as vital as the brain stem or the back parts of the brain.

Jennifer Willmott: Well, and just so we’re clear, you don’t actually have any medical evidence of it passing through the brain, right?

Kevin Horn: It had to have passed through the brain?

Jennifer Willmott: You don’t have any medical evidence of that, do you?

Kevin Horn: I do. The skull is perforated where the brain is, so it had to have passed through the brain. The brain is there.

Jennifer Willmott: Well, but you have no idea- you have no medical evidence of how far or what part of the brain it exactly would have hit, right?

Kevin Horn: It would have passed through the right frontal lobe. I just don’t have any evidence of hemorrhage now because of decomposition. But it had to have passed through the brain because of the part of the skull that was injured. The brain in a young especially is flush against that- against that structure. The brain occupies the entire skull. So, to have a hole in the skull here and an exit in here, it has to pass through the brain.

Jennifer Willmott: Well the exit’s he- there is no exit. What are you-

Kevin Horn: Exit from the skull cavity into the face.

Jennifer Willmott: Uh-huh. So- but what you’re saying though is you have no idea how- where that bullet might have hit. It could have just grazed the tip of the brain, right?

Kevin Horn: No. It had to have passed through the right frontal lobe of the brain, based on where these holes in the skull are. There’s no way it could have avoided the brain.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, and you’re sure of that?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

AnchorArrows

Jennifer Willmott: What I was talking about earlier was that with brain injuries, I mean we’ve all heard the stories of people- the person who had the arrow stuck through- went through his skull and hit his brain, or the person who had a, I don’t know if it was an arrow or what, but it actually goes through the brain, and these people are coming to the E.R. You’ve heard those stories, right?

Kevin Horn: Those are different.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. But those are people who’ve had brain injuries, right?

Kevin Horn: Not with projectiles.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay.

Kevin Horn: With firearms, you don’t just have an arrow or an object passing through the head. With a firearm, you also have gas and you have an expansile cavity that damages the brain as it goes through. So you can shoot and arrow through the brain. It’s a much lower velocity projectile and will not cause a large temporary cavity to open up in the brain tissue like a projectile would, like a firearm projectile would.

Jennifer Willmott: So those don’t cause as much damage as a bullet does, is what you’re saying?

Kevin Horn: That’s right, that’s right.

Jennifer Willmott: But you didn’t see any damage, even in your slices, right?

Kevin Horn: Right. I could not document the damage because of the decomposition.

AnchorMore on Flores

Jennifer Willmott: Now, your findings during the autopsy, that would be something that you would explain to Detective Flores, right?

Kevin Horn: Preliminarily, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And he’s going to get a copy of it.

Kevin Horn: A copy of my final report?

Jennifer Willmott: Yes.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And like you said before, he’s free to call you with questions if he doesn’t know what you mean by something.

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: And do you remember speaking to Detective Flores about a- close to a year later after the autopsy?

Kevin Horn: No.

Jennifer Willmott: Do you remember speaking to Detective Flores ever again?

Kevin Horn: No.

Jennifer Willmott: Do you think you didn’t? Or do you just not remember?

Kevin Horn: I don’t recall, no.

Jennifer Willmott: Do you have any memory of ever speaking to Detective Flores about this particular autopsy after June 12th?

Kevin Horn: No.

Jennifer Willmott: So, then any information that Detective Flores would have gotten from you would have been from June 12th of 2008, is that right?

Kevin Horn: I have no idea.

Jennifer Willmott: Well, I mean, you spoke to him on June 12th, right?

Kevin Horn: I assume so. He’s listed as present on my report, but I don’t remember him being there.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And you said you’ve done 6000 or so autopsies?

Kevin Horn: Something like that.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And when- when police are involved, police have been present during your autopsies, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So it makes it difficult, I’m sure they run together, do they not?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: But you know in your report that Detective Flores was there. You know that from- because it was documented.

Kevin Horn: Just- yes, the documentation.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And so, the information about- let’s talk about the gunshot wound first. So any information that Detective Flores had about the gunshot wound, I guess then would have come from June 12th, right, if you don’t remember ever talking to him again.

Juan Martinez: Objection: speculation as to if Detective Flores may have retained this information.

The Court: Overruled. You may answer.

Kevin Horn: Sorry, can you ask that again?

Jennifer Willmott: You’re the- you’re the only doctor who did this autopsy, right?

Kevin Horn: Correct.

Jennifer Willmott: And so, any information that Detective Flores has about the autopsy itself would have come from you, right?

Juan Martinez: Objection: speculation.

The Court: Sustained.

Jennifer Willmott: Any information would have come from the autopsy that you did?

Juan Martinez: Objection: speculation and- as to what information she’s talking about.

The Court: Sustained.

Jennifer Willmott: You provided your report to Detective Flores, right?

Kevin Horn: Not myself personally, but my office would have mailed it to him, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Yes, it goes to the police department, doesn’t it?

Kevin Horn: Yes.

AnchorChange of story

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Isn’t it true that at some point you told Detective Flores that you believe the first wound was the shot to the head?

Kevin Horn: I don’t recall ever saying that.

Jennifer Willmott: So you think you never told Detective Flores that?

Kevin Horn: I don’t think that’s consistent with the evidence that I have and I don’t remember ever saying anything like that.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, so what your testimony is, I just want to be clear, is that you never told Detective Flores that the gunshot wound was the first wound?

Kevin Horn: I don’t believe I ever said that, no.

Jennifer Willmott: And, do you remember telling Detective Flores that you knew this because the gunshot wound wouldn’t have completely incapacitated somebody?

Kevin Horn: I don’t recall saying that either.

Jennifer Willmott: Is that something that you think you would have never said to Detective Flores?

Kevin Horn: I think I’ve said it in court that I don’t think it would immediately incapacitate or kill him, but it would be a serious injury. But I don’t recall telling Doctor- Detective Flores that, no.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So, let me back up for a second. So you’re saying that the gunshot wound is not immediately incapacitating.

Kevin Horn: I would say not immediately fatal.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. I’m not talking about fatal, I’m just talking about incapacitating.

Kevin Horn: I think, yes. I think that it would be incapacitating. It’s passing through his brain, so yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So… And that’s assuming it passed through his brain, you would say it’s incapacitating, right?

Kevin Horn: I’m saying it did pass through his brain.

Jennifer Willmott: Alright. And so- so then you wouldn’t have told Detective Flores that that particular gunshot wound would not have completely incapacitated someone, right? I guess you wouldn’t have said that.

Kevin Horn: I don’t recall saying- I don’t recall having a conversation with the Detective at all over anything.

Jennifer Willmott: I’m sorry, I missed the last part.

Kevin Horn: I don’t recall having a conversation with the Detective at all about this case.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. So, do you remember then telling Detective Flores that Mr. Alexander could have been unconscious but then you suspect that he became conscious again?

Kevin Horn: No, I don’t recall saying that.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, and you suspect that he became conscious, or that you knew he was conscious because there’s defensive wounds.

Kevin Horn: Well I think he’d have to be conscious during the defensive wounds. I don’t recall telling Detective Flores that.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. But if the gunshot wound comes first, and then the defensive wounds come after that, obviously he would have to be conscious for that.

Kevin Horn: I don’t think that makes sense. I don’t think he got the gunshot wound and then got defensive wounds. I think he would have been unconscious.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay, so that’s something you never told Detective Flores.

Kevin Horn: Again, I don’t recall ever having a conversation with him about anything.

Jennifer Willmott: So if you don’t recall ever having a conversation with Detective Flores, and we know that Detective Flores was at the autopsy, right?

Kevin Horn: Right.

AnchorTen years ago

Jennifer Willmott: So then, can we assume then that you never spoke to him again?

Kevin Horn: That was 10 years ago, I don’t remember.

Jennifer Willmott: It wasn’t 10 years ago, it was in 2008.

Kevin Horn: Or two- six.

Jennifer Willmott: Four and a half.

Kevin Horn: Several years ago.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Okay, so you don’t remember?

Kevin Horn: I don’t recall speaking to him again, no.

Jennifer Willmott: So then it’s possible that you spoke to Detective Flores?

Kevin Horn: Sure.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And it’s then possible that you might have said these things to Detective Flores?

Kevin Horn: I don’t believe I would say those things, no. I don’t think they’re consistent with what I’m saying here.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. And so… I guess the one thing we can agree on is that the wound to the neck, that one was most certainly fatal the quickest, right?

Kevin Horn: Yes. That’s the most significant one in my opinion, yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Judge, may I have a minute?

The Court: Yes.

Jennifer Willmott: Thank you. Do you remember giving the opinion to Detec- your opinion to Detective Flores that the cut to the throat was the last wound?

Kevin Horn: No.

Jennifer Willmott: And so, if Detective Flores would have testified in some other hearing that that’s what you told him, he’s wrong?

Juan Martinez: Objection: vouching, speculation.

The Court: Sustained.

Jennifer Willmott: And… You remember- I take it you have no memory of discussing the scene photographs with Detective Flores?

Kevin Horn: I don’t, no.

Jennifer Willmott: And in discussing the scene photographs with Detective Flores, telling Detective Flores that the gunshot wound would not have completely incapacitated Mr. Alexander?

Kevin Horn: Again, I’ve been answering this question, I do not have any recollection of that, no.

Jennifer Willmott: Okay. Alright, thank you.

See also

  1. Prosecution misconduct which comments on the change of story.
  2. Kevin Horn
  3. Trial Index
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