With chilling testimony from a medical examiner, the prosecution has rested its case in the retrial of a Connecticut man previously convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend.
According to the Hartford Courant, Maurice Francis was convicted in 2012 of murdering Tashima Reddick, but the Supreme Court ordered a retrial three years later after finding the the judge who presided over the first trial erred in permitting one of the defendant’s attorneys to temporarily withdraw.
Reddick, 29, was found dead in a bathtub at Francis’s Hartford apartment on the night of November 1, 2008. Francis had made the 911 call to report that she was unresponsive. According to the Hartford Courant, first responders were immediately suspicious about his behavior.
The suspect reportedly asked “Is she dead?” over and over again.
“He kept saying ‘is she dead,’ as if that was the preferred outcome,” Hartford firefighter Michael DiGiacomo told the Hartford Courant.
In fact, Reddick was dead, and it appears that she may have been dead for awhile.
The auto dealer who sold Francis his Volvo later told police that the suspect came to his auto repair shop on the morning of November 1, complaining that his car was not running properly, according to the newspaper. There was a woman in the passenger seat of the car, and Francis reportedly said she was his girlfriend. The dealer said that Francis was at his shop for seven hours that day, and that the woman never got out of the car.
According to the Hartford Courant, the witness said that Francis left his own Volvo at the shop and left in another car. The dealer said the suspect parked the cars next to each other with the passenger doors facing each other before he left the shop. The witness said he did not see the woman get out of one car into the other and does not know how she moved from one vehicle to the next.
Additional witnesses who lived near Francis reportedly told police they saw what they believed was a man dragging a body from the house to his car.
At the second trial, the medical examiner who previously determined that Reddick died of multiple sharp force injuries testified to the unusual condition of the victim’s body.
“She didn’t have much blood in her system,” the medical examiner, Dr. Susan Williams, reportedly said on the stand, adding that she was not sure what happened to the blood.
Large quantities of blood were not found in the home, and the medical examiner speculated that the victim’s blood could have gone down the drain.
The doctor said that the victim’s internal organs and tongue were unusually pale, and that blood had not pooled in her body after her death. She also said there was not one single injury that would have caused the victim to quickly bleed out; instead, her body was covered in numerous cuts from a sharp object.
“She had multiple small cuts or incised wounds as well as many small … line-like scars on her body,” Dr. Williams reportedly said.
It reportedly took the medical examiner two months to determine Reddick’s cause of death.
According to the Hartford Courant, the jury at Francis’s first trial found him guilty after only six hours of deliberation.