Medical examiner testifies to severity of Freddie Gray's injuries

Assistant medical examiner Dr. Carroll Allan testified this afternoon to the severity of Freddie Gray's injuries, saying she determined the cause of death was a neck injury and the manner of death was a homicide after performing the autopsy.

The defense objected to admitting the autopsy report as evidence.

Following an explanation of the workings of the spinal column using charts and a model, Allan told the jury Gray's C-4 vertebra was pushed over his C-5 vertebra. She later testified that torn ligaments on the left side of Gray's neck made his injury "unstable."

"That meant any kind of movement after the primary injury occurred was going to cause more injury," she testified.

Spinal injuries like the one sustained by Gray can cause a person to "lose 80 percent of the efficiency of [their] breathing."

Without immediate medical attention, these injuries would cause suffocation, she testified.

Earlier in the proceedings, the prosecution entered into evidence a picture of Gray's spinal cord taken during the autopsy. Allan explained that it showed signs of swelling, contusions, and tissue deterioration.

"It was functionally cut through, but anatomically it was not," she testified.

Court went into recess before the defense was able to cross-examine Allan, but attorneys representing William Porter, the first Baltimore Police officer on trial in Gray's death, objected to Allan being sworn in as an expert witness in forensic pathology. Judge Barry G. Williams allowed it.

The defense will get to ask questions of Allan when the trial resumes Monday at 9 a.m.

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