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Medical Examiner Testifies About Shooting Victim’s Wounds



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 06, 2018

White River Junction — Wesley Wing, the 37-year-old father who was gunned down in 2015 in Springfield, Vt., was shot three times in the abdomen and once in each hand, according to New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval.

Duval, who performed Wing’s autopsy, testified on Tuesday at the trial of 32-year-old Gregory Smith, who is charged with second-degree murder in Wing’s death. Authorities have said the shooting stemmed from a dispute over illegal drug activity in the men’s neighborhood.

Duval said two of the bullets that entered and exited Wing’s torso proved to be fatal. They tore through several vital organs, including Wing’s liver, right kidney and intestines, leading to massive blood loss. Duval conducted the autopsy because Wing died at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

Smith has pleaded not guilty; his attorneys say he fired the five shots in self-defense after Wing attacked him through the window of his car, including punching him in the face.

In her testimony, however, Duval, cast doubt on Smith’s version of events. She said that Wing did not have injuries on his hands that were consistent with having been involved in a fist fight.

“Sometimes if someone throws a punch you may see bruising,” she said. “I didn’t observe any of that.”

On cross-examination, defense attorneys pressed Duval on whether Wing actually did have injuries on his hands that were consistent with a fight. Public defender Brian Marsicovetere showed the court a series of photos that he said depicted injuries to Wing’s hands and arms that weren’t documented in Duval’s report.

In one instance, Marsicovetere showed Duval two photos, each from a different camera angle, of what he characterized as a red “divot-like cut” on one of Wing’s fingers. Duval testified she could see the mark in one of the photos, but couldn’t see it in the other, leading her to believe that it could be “a shadow” and not an actual injury.

“Look real close at the pointer finger,” Marsicovetere said as he projected the photo onto a screen for the jurors to see.

“There is a shadow. I don’t see red,” Duval responded, growing frustrated, before saying “sure” it could be an injury.

“Do you see any injury in that picture?” Assistant Attorney General Adam Korn fired back on redirect.

“No,” Duval replied.

Marsicovetere pointed out other marks on Wing’s body. Duval attributed some of them to “livor mortis,” the skin discoloration that occurs when blood settles in the body.

“(That) is a normal post-mortem change,” she testified.

Marsicovetere also asked Duval about DNA swabbing and whether she swabbed a fresh scratch on Wing’s upper arm. She said she didn’t because that type of injury isn’t one a medical examiner typically would swab.

Several other people took the stand on Tuesday, including Rebecca Russ, who was living in the Keene, N.H., home that Smith fled to when he left Springfield, Vt., after the April 15, 2015, shooting at the intersection of South Street and Cheryl Lane.

Authorities say Smith shot Wing after he and Smith’s girlfriend, Wendy Morris, got into an argument about her alleged drug use in the neighborhood, according to an affidavit in the case.

Russ, whose best friend and roommate had been romantically involved with Smith, testified that Smith “looked like he got beat up” when she saw him at the Keene, N.H., residence after the incident.

Attorneys asked her to detail Smith’s injuries several times, and though she mentioned a scratch on his cheek, a black eye and a fat lip, she ultimately testified that she couldn’t remember the precise injuries she saw.

Russ acknowledged that her memory was clouded in April 2015 as she was a “heroin addict.”

She said the scratch “didn’t look like it just happened.”

“(He said) that a guy attacked him, jumped through his window, beat him up and he couldn’t breathe,” she said. “He was crying. He was scared. I can’t remember all the little details.”

She testified that Smith asked her to lie about his whereabouts on April 15, 2015.

Vermont State Trooper Hugh O’Donnell, who located Smith and Morris in a camper in South Londonderry, Vt., five days after the shooting, testified that he didn’t see any injuries on Smith’s face when he found him. There weren’t any marks on his face in his booking photos, either, O’Donnell said.

Springfield Police Detective Sgt. Patrick Call, the lead investigator in the case, testified that he recovered multiple rounds of .40 caliber ammunition inside Smith and Morris’ residence on Lark Lane in Springfield, ammo that was similar to the shell casings found at the scene of the shooting.

Prosecutors during opening statements on Monday said the gun Smith used was a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson.

On Monday, testimony focused on the distance between Wing and Smith when the shots were fired.

On Tuesday, Duval testified that she examined each gunshot wound in detail, but couldn’t render an opinion on how close Wing was when Smith fired the shots. With that said, she testified that she didn’t observe anything that would indicate Wing was shot at a particularly close range.

The bullet that struck Wing’s right hand went through the palm; the bullet that injured his left hand grazed of one of his finger tips.

The trial is scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. Prosecutors said they expect to rest their case today.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.