HOUSTON (AP) - Autopsy photos shown Friday at a Houston woman’s murder trial detailed numerous uniquely shaped wounds on her boyfriend’s head and body that an assistant medical examiner says the 5½-inch stiletto heel on the defendant’s shoe made.
Ana Trujillo is accused of striking 59-year-old Alf Stefan Andersson at least 25 times in the face with her shoe during an argument in June at his Houston condominium. The defense says Trujillo, 45, was defending herself from an attack by Andersson.
Dr. Jennifer Ross told jurors the cuts and wounds found on Andersson’s head, arms, hands and back were in the shape of a square and the letter “I” and consistent with the bottom of Trujillo’s stiletto heel.
Ross, who is with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, was the last of the prosecution’s 17 trial witnesses. She said she was able to determine that Andersson had at least 25 blows to his head, but that there probably were more that couldn’t be detected because they landed on top of each other.
“Is this an object that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death?” prosecutor John Jordan asked, referring to the blue, suede high-heel shoe he held in his hand.
“It is possible,” Ross said.
She said Andersson’s cause of death was determined to be “blunt-force head and facial trauma” with the “most damaging injuries” to the head.
“What type of force was necessary to cause that type of injury?” Jordan asked.
“A rather significant force,” Ross said.
Autopsy photos also showed injuries and bruises on Andersson’s left arm and the palm and fingertips of his right hand. Ross told jurors these injuries suggest Andersson had been on the ground, with his arms and hands raised, defending himself from blows by someone above him.
Ross said bruises and other injuries on Andersson’s back could be consistent with someone being hit on the back while running away.
An X-ray of the shoe showed that the stiletto heel was made of steel, she said.
During the trial, prosecutors have suggested to jurors that Trujillo’s lack of injuries shows Andersson never attacked her.
But Houston Police Officer Travis Miller, while questioned by defense attorney Jack Carroll earlier Friday, said a medical exam of Trujillo done two days after the incident found bruises on her thighs, knuckles, chin, buttocks and knees.
Jordan, the prosecutor, suggested to jurors those injuries happened when Trujillo got into a fight with her ex-boyfriend and his current girlfriend two weeks before Andersson’s death.
Defense attorneys began presenting their case later Friday.
Their first witness, Yolanda Ruiz, a worker at a golf course snack bar frequented by Andersson, told jurors that Andersson would go to her bar every day and start drinking early, sometimes by 10:30 a.m.
The defense has told jurors that Andersson was an alcoholic who would get angry at Trujillo. Andersson’s friends have previously testified he had a drinking problem.
When questioned by prosecutors, Ruiz described Andersson as polite and said she never saw him get angry.
Ruiz was the only defense witness on Friday as Trujillo’s attorneys did not have other witnesses available to testify. Testimony was to resume on Monday.
If convicted of murder, Trujillo faces up to life in prison.
Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/juanlozano70 .
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