CHISHOLM SIBLING MURDER TRIAL: Skull showed evidence of trauma
The scalp, skull and brain of Donald Chisholm showed evidence of trauma and injury consistent with a medical finding of homicide, an autopsy physician said today during the trial of Rodney Chisholm on the charge he murdered his older brother last...
The scalp, skull and brain of Donald Chisholm showed evidence of trauma and injury consistent with a medical finding of homicide, an autopsy physician said today during the trial of Rodney Chisholm on the charge he murdered his older brother last summer in rural Grand Forks County.
Dr. Mark Kaponen, the UND medical school pathologist who performed the forensic autopsy on the body of Donald Chisholm July 8 in the basement of Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, testified that although there had been "severe post-mortem decomposition," there was bruising of brain tissue and bone fractures behind the eyes consistent with Rodney Chisholm's admission he had hit his brother with a metal pipe June 24 last summer.
More difficult to assess, however, was any role that a pair of metal clamps used to fasten hoses to, say, a radiator, found connected together and clamped around Donald Chisholm's neck, may have had in his death, Kaponen testified.
Under cross-examination by Rodney Chisholm's attorney, Steven Light, Kaponen said the clamp, secured with a tightening screw, was not tight enough to indicate it had caused Chisholm's death by strangulation. But it was impossible to rule out that it "contributed," to his death, because the decay of the body may have obscured "subtle" signs of injury from strangulation, Kaponen said.
The prosecution's case is scheduled to continue this morning with a two-hour audio/video interview of Rodney Chisholm by Mike Ness, special agent with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The courtroom is full today, including about 15 high school students from Climax, Minn.