Boyfriend in stiletto-heel trial might have been saved: pathologist

HOUSTON Tue Apr 8, 2014 9:00am EDT

Ana Trujillo, 44, is pictured in this undated handout photo by Houston Police Department. REUTERS/Houston Police Department/Handout via Reuters

Ana Trujillo, 44, is pictured in this undated handout photo by Houston Police Department.

Credit: Reuters/Houston Police Department/Handout via Reuters

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas man who died after his girlfriend attacked him with her stiletto-heeled shoe might have been saved if police and medical responders at his Houston condominium had checked him for heart activity, a pathologist testified at the woman's murder trial on Monday.

Defense attorneys have said 45-year-old Ana Trujillo was acting in self-defense against an alcohol-fueled assault by her boyfriend, University of Houston professor Stefan Andersson.

"I did not see any one injury that would have been fatal to Dr. Andersson," forensic pathologist Lee Ann Grossberg told a Harris County jury. "Natural causes may have contributed to his death. Because his pulse and respirations weren't checked, we will never know if he could have survived."

Grossberg, who had not directly examined the body, said police and medical crews should have performed CPR or tried other emergency procedures, or at least used an electronic monitor to gauge his heart's activity.

Prosecutors say Trujillo stabbed the 59-year-old Andersson about two dozen times in the face and head with her spiked-heel shoe after the pair returned to his condominium from a night out on June 9.

Both defense attorneys and prosecutors at times touched the heel of the shoe-turned-weapon - a tangle of hair-like material wrapped around its frame - displayed in the center of the court room for jurors to see.

In its opening statements, Trujillo's defense team accused Andersson of being an alcoholic and described the alleged murder weapon as more of a platform-heeled shoe, not a pointy stiletto, local media have reported.

Jurors could begin deliberations after rebuttal witnesses and closing arguments set for Tuesday.

Bruises visible on Trujillo's body when she was examined after the attack had been present weeks before when the Mexico native was treated at a Houston hospital after a physical altercation with a man and woman, a prosecutor has suggested.

Andersson, a native of Sweden, taught at the university's Center for Nuclear Receptor and Cell Signaling, specializing in women's reproductive health, the school said.

Grossberg, a private forensic pathologist, reviewed crime scene photographs, the autopsy report as well as police and medical records.

(Reporting by Amanda Orr in Houston; Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Larry King)

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Comments (2)
Jerryball wrote:
Ahhh, let me get this straight. His girlfriend stabbed him with her stilettos into his heart, yet, this lawyer says “natural causes” may have “contributed” to his death? What rock do these creatures crawl out from? What rock put so much pressure on this litigator’s head that he/she has lost his/her common sense reasoning? I haven’t heard a defense like this since the San Francisco jury let ex-sharpshooter and ex-policeman Dan White, who shot down in City Hall then-Mayor Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk in cold blood, did so because he ate too many Twinkies. We all know that Twinkies lead to “natural causes” in cold blooded murder, don’t we?

Apr 08, 2014 4:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
pyradius wrote:
Pay attention, it said a pathologist testified that none of his wounds in and of themselves would normally be fatal.

Apr 08, 2014 12:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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