Medical examiner says Bernstein's death wasn't suicide - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Medical examiner says Bernstein's death wasn't suicide

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Day 3 of retrial for accused murderer Allan Agababa picked up to a slow start. At issue: a number of exhibits too graphic for public viewing. The exhibits were used in testimony from the government's expert witness who concluded Shelly Bernstein died at the hands of another.

It wasn't suicide.

"The fracture is not consistent with that," concluded Dr, Aurelio Espinola, Guam's medical examiner, determining that Shelly Bernstein She wasn't shot. "Number one, I didn't find any bullet. Number two, I didn't find any markings that tells me it's a gunshot."

Nor had she fallen and hit her head. "I looked around and there was no evidence that she fell," said the doctor. Prosecutor Jeremiah Luther asked where he looked, with the physician replying, "I inspected all of the area...around the bed. The bathroom."

One by one, the government's expert witness, Dr. Espinola, ruled out the possibilities before deciding the 55-year-old Bernstein's cause and manner of death. "In my opinion, the decedent, Shelly June Bernstein, came to her death as a result of laceration due to blunt trauma to the forehead with skull fracture.

"Homicide."

Bernstein was found dead in her Tamuning apartment four years ago. Using photos taken from the autopsy, he explained the injuries she sustained. The court asked members of the press not to publish the exhibits, as they are too graphic in nature.

Bernstein's son, Allan Agababa, stands accused of killing his mother to cash in on her death benefits as a flight attendant. As stated in opening statements, defense is anticipated to revive testimony from their past expert witness, forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph Cohen who will challenge Dr. Espinola's findings.

Cohen's testimony won't be live, but rather a replay from Agababa's initial trial three years ago. Jurors in that trial failed to reach a unanimous decision rendering a mistrial.

The government will continue its case in chief on Thursday.

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