ME testifies in Nixzmary murder trial

February 7, 2008 4:11:32 PM PST
There was more dramatic and disturbing testimony in the Nixzmary Brown murder trial Thursday. The medical examiner was on the stand. She testified Nixmary had bruises from head to toe. The testimony was so difficult the judge had to order a recess.

Eyewitness News reporter Tim Fleischer was in the courtroom.

The final photos of little Nixzmary Brown were shown today. They were so difficult to look at and so disturbing to jurors that some were visibly overcome. Others wiped away tears.

"She was malnourished," Dr. Barbara Sampson testified, walking the court through the autopsy. "Her body emaciated, just 36 pounds. An average 7-year-old would be 48 pounds and three inches taller."

The ME said Nixzmary suffered blunt force trauma to her head. Nine injuries were described, some sustained earlier.

"The only way the black eyes could've occurred is a direct punch to each eye," Dr. Sampson said.

The jury also saw a particularly disturbing photo, showing many bruises.

"There were numerous contusions and abrasions on the back and buttocks," Dr. Sampson revealed. "This is a good illustration that the injuries are of different ages. They must have been sustained at different times.

Cesar Rodriguez, Nixzmary's stepfather, who is on trial for murder, has admitted some of the beatings.

"My client did hit her on occasion," defense attorney Jeffery Schwartz said. "He admitted it right away. The photos are disturbing, but for the jurors, who I hope are paying attention, I think 95 percent of the injuries that were pointed out in the photos were injuries that Nixzaliz Santiago (Nixmary's mother) admitted to inflicting."

Nixzaliz, also charged with murder, is expected to be called to testify. She, too, will eventually see the photos of her daughter.