On Thursday, Auckland County forensic experts refuted a former Wayne County forensic expert, testifying that 4-year-old Ivy Yurkus had died from an injury to her upper abdomen.
Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic’s testimony at the trial of Jonathan Jones’ murder contradicted the testimony of Dr. Chantelle Njiwaji, a former Wayne forensic expert, who said Ivy died of a stroke on the day of her death, although she also suffered other abdominal injuries and bruises on her back, buttocks and buttocks. faces.
Jones, 28, a former friend of Ivy’s mother, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse.
The trial before Judge Catherine Vivian in Macomb County District Court ended on Thursday and is scheduled to continue on Friday with testimony from police and several witnesses on behalf of Jones.
Forensic experts agreed that Ivy died in 2017 from a blunt force abdominal injury that tore a mesenteric vein, leading to bleeding.
But Dragovic, who testifies in defense, differs from Njiwaji by saying that Ivy was injured a few days before she died around 8 a.m. on May 4, 2017, about 14 hours after she was taken to St. John Ascension Hospital in Detroit.
“Certainly, the bleeding in the child’s abdomen began three or four days before her death,” Dragovic said during questioning of Jones’ lawyer Nicole Castko. “It could go on for days without attention.”
He called the mesenteric vein relatively “small,” and Njiwaji called it a large vein.
Dragovic said the time of the injury was confirmed by an “iron spot test” of blood samples from Ivy’s pancreas and intestines, which showed previous bleeding and the presence of granulation tissue, indicating healing.
During cross-examination, Assistant Attorney General Joshua Van Laana Dragovic admitted that he based his opinion strictly on these tests and photographs and did not consider other evidence, including what Ivy said to her mother: “He hit me in the stomach” in their Galloway. On the street at home less than an hour before she lost consciousness.
In addition, Dragovic did not know that Ivy’s brother testified that Jones gave her a “sound” shortly before she lost consciousness.
Dragovic insisted the injury was old.
“If she had been (injured), the previous injury would have worsened,” he said. “If something or someone hits her in the abdomen, the initial injury that existed before may worsen.”
Dragovic agreed that he also did not consider Jones’ statement to the police or the statement of Ivy’s mother, Amanda Yurkus, among other evidence.
During interrogation, Van Laan Dragovic, who did not see Ivy’s body, admitted that he wrote in his first report that Ivy’s mesenteric artery was also damaged, but he removed the statement from his second report because Ivy “did not die within minutes.” .
Damage to this artery “will not mean survival for more than a few minutes.”
This confronts Njiwaji and one of Ivy’s treating surgeons, who both said the mesenteric artery was ruptured but not ruptured, Van Laan noted.
He suggested that Ivy lost consciousness a few minutes after she said she was hit, and died relatively quickly, 14 hours later. About an hour after she lost consciousness, she received medical treatment and a blood transfusion, he said.
I wouldn’t call it “fast” if it took so many hours. Before the hospital, medical intervention, she would not be alive, “Dragovich said.
Van Laan objected: “The only reason it took so many hours was that they shed so much blood, right?”
Dragovic said Ivy could have injured herself a few days before she died if she fell on a rocking horse while jumping on a bed at her grandmother’s house, or was hit by a bicycle driven by her brother on the porch of their home in Rosville. .
Dragovic claimed that Ivy’s stomach could have hit the handle of a rocking horse, which is made of hollow plastic and not of wood, as it seems.
He said the cause of the fatal injury could have been a bicycle handle or a light.
Dragovic also testified that Ivy’s single injury occurred in the area of the pancreatic liver and was about 1 to 2 inches in diameter, while Njiwaji caused about a dozen injuries.
“There is no evidence of multiple blows. The injury is in this place, – said Dragovic, pointing to the lower area of the liver on the chart – and everything else is bleeding into the intestines.
Photographs of Ivy’s body taken during the autopsy show significant bruising and abrasions on her back and bruises on her buttocks, on one side of her face and outside her genitals.
Dragovic agreed with Kostya that the bruises on her face could have been caused by the car door that hit her as the family hurried into it so Amanda could get to work.
Dragovic said he saw two bruises on the left side of Ivy’s face, and Njiwaji said there were three.
He said some of the bruises on Ivy’s back could have been caused by her falling off the porch and landing on a multi-barrel stump.
He agreed with Njiwaji that the series of bruises on Ivy’s right buttock could have been the result of hand contact.
Dragovic said Auckland County will receive compensation for nearly a full day of testimony, and he expects them to bill the defendant.