Medical examiner describes teen’s shooting in Carr murder trial

By Rudman Winchell Attorney

From Bangor Daily News:

BANGOR, Maine — The medical examiner who did the autopsy on John ” Bobby” Surles, the teenager gunned down on a city street a year ago, testified Tuesday during the murder trial of Zachary Carr that she believes the shooter and the victim were standing, facing each other.

Earlier Tuesday, the jury visited the scene of the shooting on Cumberland Street. The group, which included Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy and two court clerks, could be seen walking the street and entering the apartment of one of the eyewitnesses who lived near where the shooting occurred. Police blocked off the street and standing nearby were Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who is prosecuting the case, and Carr’s two defense attorneys, F. David Walker IV and Thomas Matzilevich.

Dr. Marguerite DeWitt, who is now retired, examined the body of Surles the day after he died from a gunshot wound to his chest.

DeWitt said the gunshot that mortally wounded Surles “pretty much went straight through.”
She described the bullet’s trajectory as it entered Surles’ body just above the right nipple.
“We know the bullet entered almost perfectly perpendicular,” she said, adding it went slightly downward after entry.

DeWitt also testified that the bullet collar, the area around the skin that gets damaged when a bullet enters skin, was concentric, or “even all the way around the hole.”
Based on those two facts, the medical examiner said, “My first best opinion was the two individuals were facing each other and the gun was roughly at chest level.”

DeWitt told Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, who is prosecuting the case, during questioning that other scenarios were possible, including one described by an eyewitness on Monday who testified that Surles was on the ground attempting to get up when he was shot.
Defense attorney R. David Walker asked DeWitt whether the bullet collar would be different if the victim had been on the ground and the shooter was a short distance way. She answered that it would probably result in an elliptical, or angled, collar.

Benson also called Zachary Carr’s father, Richard Carr, to the stand and asked him why he gave the gun to his son.

“He had been telling me for a long time about his girlfriend being stalked,” the elder Carr testified.
Surles died at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor about 28 hours after the shooting from injuries caused by the gunshot wound to his chest. Carr, who pleaded not guilty to murdering Surles, has been held at the Penobscot County Jail since his arrest Jan. 29, 2010.


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