Former Cuyahoga County Coroner, doctor testify in Cleveland Strangler Court - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Former Cuyahoga County Coroner, doctor testify in Cleveland Strangler Court

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An emotional week of testimony wrapped up Friday evening in Cleveland Strangler court.

The day kicked off with a doctor from the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office who autopsied six of the eleven bodies discovered at Anthony Sowell's Imperial Avenue home.

Hundreds of photos taken by investigators were shown and entered into evidence. The two-hour slide show contained a total of 673 photographs, and no commentary was given. Accused serial killer Anthony Sowell watched intently, but showed no emotion. Cleveland Police photographer Officer Kristine Rayburn testified about procedures used in taking photos at crime scenes.

Dr. Kristi Pekarski, a Pathologist with the Medical Examiner's Office, was next on the stand to explain autopsy procedures and decomposition. Dr. Pekarski says a person who is strangled would lose consciousness in anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds, then die within 3 to 5 minutes. She said strangulation differs from suffocation. Suffocation is lack of oxygen to the blood, and strangulation is lack of blood to the brain.

"The body that you're performing an autopsy on, do you measure it as far as height?" Dr. Pekarski was asked.

"Yes," she replied.

"And what was the height?"

"66 inches."

"And at the time that you're examining the remains, do you weigh the remains?"

"Yes. 46 pounds," Dr. Pekarski answered.

Dr. Pekarski was speaking about a victim found out in the open on the third floor of Sowell's Imperial Avenue home.

Finally, former Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller testified about the his investigations.

Court resumes on Tuesday, July 12th with more witnesses from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.

Sowell faces the death penalty if convicted of murdering eleven women. The bodies of the victims were found in and around Sowell's Imperial Avenue home in late 2009.

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