Prosecution Calls Expert Witness, Medical Examiner as They Rest in Gantan Case

September 13, 2013 | Please note: This story contains graphic descriptions of the injuries in the DUI bodily injury prosecution of Heile G...

September 13, 2013 |

Please note: This story contains graphic descriptions of the injuries in the DUI bodily injury prosecution of Heile Gantan. |

In the last phase of the prosecutions case against Heile Gantan and Ladonna Torres, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Keri Reeve called four witnesses yesterday including an accident reconstruction expert witness and the medical doctor who performed the autopsy on Oscar Ivan Camero.

Booking photo of Heile Gantan.
Camero was killed in Elk Grove on May 29, 2011 as a passenger in a car driven by Gantan that was involved  in a roll-over accident. Gantan allegedly was driving while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and she and co-defendant Ladonna Torres also allegedly left the scene of the accident.

Although the Elk Grove Police conducted an accident reconstruction with their own in-house expert witness, they also hired an independent expert witness to validate their results. That expert, Robert Snook, Certified Accident Reconstruction Specialist, said the results of his anaylsis verified the result by Elk Grove Police Officer Tina Durham.

In addition to assisting Durham during the initial investigation, Snook ran five to six independent tests approximately one year later that verified the initial test that showed Gantan was driving the 1989 BMW between 53 and 58 miles-per-hour. Snook said the bald tires on the car did not contribute to the accident as bald tread actually bonds better with asphalt.

Reeve also called Dr. Stephany Fiore, Chief Pathologist from the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office. Fiore said she performed a full autopsy on Camero. 

During her testimony, that included photographs of the injuries sustained by Camero, Fiore detailed the following:
Head:  Abrasions on right side of face/jaw line  (non-life threatening); larger abrasion on left side of face/torn skin  (non-life threatening); Skull fracture termed “hinge fracture” because the skull actually was able to be “hinged” back and forth due to the severity / depth of the fracture.  This alone was a life threatening injury and what ultimately was determined to be the cause of death.
Chest:  Left shoulder, left arm and chest abrasions. Crushed ribs and collar bone. Broken left arm that was severely torn from arm pit. This tear extended from upper arm and involved the chest cavity. This alone could have caused death due to the potential loss of blood. 
Cause of death officially listed as blunt force trauma to head/chest. The skull fracture was lethal.

During cross examination by Torres attorney Alina Mendez, Fiore was asked if Camero might have survived the accident.

"Probably not, the fracture was too deep and severe," Fiore said.

In cross examination by Gantan attorney Don Masuda asked Fiore if she performed a toxicology exam on Camero. Fiore said she did, but Masuda did not pursue further questioning on the results.   

The trial will resume Monday at 9 a.m. in Department 42 of the Sacramento Superior Court when the defense cases of Torres and Gantan will commence respectively. 

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