Medical Examiner Explains His Postmortem of Diren Dede; Markus Kaarma Had Marijuana in His System
Dr. Gary Dale, State Medical Examiner, took the stand on behalf of the prosecution in the trial of Markus Kaarma. On April 27, 2014 Dr. Dale performed the postmortem examination of Diren Dede's body.
Dale explained that he found two shotgun wounds on Dede's body. There were six pellet entrance wounds on the left arm just above the elbow. Dale can extrapolate that the left arm was crooked and that it was facing away from the muzzle of the shotgun when the shot was fired. Dr. Dale cautioned that he cannot guess how Dede was standing when the shot was fired, just that his left arm was facing away--and that it is possible for Dede to have been standing several different ways to sustain these injuries. Dale also asserted that given proper medical treatment, Dede would have been expected to survive the injuries in his arm.
A cluster of five pellets entered along Dede's hairline close to his left temple in addition to one grazing injury. Two pellets remained in Dede's head; the rest exited. Four would have damaged the brain. According to Dr. Dale, Dede would have lost consciousness immediately and suffered brain damage. Surviving these injuries would be highly unlikely.
Dr. Dale was able to match the wounds to the shot groupings in the Kaarma's garage to determine that the arm injury was sustained first; the head wound resulted from a resulting, separate shot. He cautioned that he cannot estimate the order of the four shots in total, only that the injury to the left arm came before the head injury.
In addition to the testimony of Dr. Dale, forensic toxicologist Michelle Duffus of the Crime Lab was called to testify that there were no drugs in Diren Dede's system on the night of his death. Duffus also analyzed a blood sample from Markus Kaarma after the shooting, which tested positive for marijuana.