Dr. Michelle Jorden, the coroner took the stand Friday morning. In 2016 she was the assistant medical examiner and reviewed the body of 18 year old Anthony Nuñez and prepared the report.
She received Anthony’s body fully clothed and still handcuffed with his arms at the back of his body.
Three minutes into her testimony, SJPD Deputy Chief Anthony Mata walks into the courtroom with two children, young girls who eventually stop looking up at the coroner pictures displayed on the TV screens and look straight ahead as they sit directly behind officers Santos and Vizzusi.
As Dr. Jorden begins to describe the first article of clothing on Anthony, his mom Sandy walks out of court crying. She sobs in the hallway. And through the doors of the courtroom, you can hear her asking, “Why did they kill him?” She doesn’t return until the next witness is called and you can hear her cries as Dr. Jorden continues her testimony.
In her report, Dr. Jorden writes that Anthony’s body appeared to be his stated age of 18 years and that fly eggs were present within his nostrils. Anthony’s body had been left outside his home until well past midnight.
Photos flash on the screens that those in the audience can see. Some look, some gasp, some are crying. The first wound she describes is the self inflicted wound to the head, the two bullets did not pass thru the skull and didn’t enter his brain. On his lower left back, there was another bullet wound, the bullet went in an upward direction and exited the front of his body in the upper left chest below his collar bone. The bullet, she said, hit from some distance because there was no evidence that that it was shot at close range. The third gunshot wound hit Anthony in the mid chest and exited his right mid back. Based on the destructive nature of the wounds, Dr. Jorden concluded that both wounds to the torso were of high velocity ammunition, like ammunition in rifles.
The one thru the back was fatal? counsel asks. “Yes, he wouldn’t have survived that.”
When the defendants’ attorney cross examined Dr. Jorden, the line of questioning by the city attorneys criminalize Anthony. They focus on the few tattoos on Anthony’s body, a 408, some small tattoos on his wrists and hands. They ask about toxicology reports and that he had a mustache and a goatee on the day of his death.
Counsel’s final question in the re-cross, “You determined the fatal shots to be the ones that entered the back and chest?”
“Yes,” responded Dr. Jorden.