Fri. May 13th, 2022

Bryan Greenwell & Jodie Cecil Case : Medical Examiner Findings and Police Surgeon Living Forensic Evaluation

Bryan Greenwell (also known as Brian Greenwell) and Jodie Cecil have been found guilty of killing a woman and leaving a man severely injured in Shelby Park neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky. Both defendants were charged with murder, criminal attempted murder, first degree assault, and tampering with physical evidence. Bryan Greenwell and Jodie Cecil were neighbors of Jennifer Cain and Darrell Wilson. You can read the full case summary here and Bryan Greenwell’s interrogation transcript here.

Bryan Greenwell and Jodie Cecil

During the trial various expert witnesses took the stand. Two of these witnesses, Dr. Jeff Springer and Dr. William Smock, testified regarding the injuries sustained by Jennifer Cain and Darrell Wilson. The picture they painted contradicts several of the assertions of the defendants.

Dr. Jeff Springer’s Testimony

Dr. Jeff Springer is a medical examiner and forensic pathology specialist from the Louisville Medical Examiner Facility. During the trial, Dr. Springer testified regarding the specifics of Jennifer Cain’s injuries and cause of death. Jennifer had sustained three gunshot wounds to the head. Although the order that the gunshot wounds occurred could not be determined, a lot of useful information was obtained through the examination.

To start, all of the gunshot wounds went from the left side of her head to the right. One bullet entered barely below Jennifer’s left earlobe and exited behind her right ear. Another entered underneath of her left eye socket and travelled diagonally downwards to the right side of her neck. The last gunshot wound to be examined was caused by a third bullet which entered the left side of her skull slightly above her ear, also travelling diagonally before exiting through her right cheek. It was also suggested that Jennifer was likely lying down for at least one of the gunshots based on the blood splatter on the computer tower next to her body on the floor, a bullet being retrieved from the computer tower, and a shell casing being located next to her head.

Examination also suggested that Jennifer was shot and killed at close range. The gunshot wound that entered under her left ear, as well as the one that entered below her left eye, had stippling. Stippling is the result of unburned gunpowder striking the skin and causing surface level injury that looks like pinpoint abrasions. The presence of stippling suggests that the firearm was between 1 centimeter and 36 inches away from Jennifer when it was discharged. Although the gunshot wound that traveled from the left side of the skull to the right cheek did not have stippling, Dr. Jeff Springer noted that sometimes hair can absorb the gunpowder and lead to a lack of stippling even if the firearm was within 36 inches.

Two of the three gunshot wounds were found to be lethal independently. These included the one that entered the left side of her skull, and the one that entered just below her left ear. Either of these shots could have been her cause of death. The gunshot wound spanning from below her left eye was not necessarily fatal. In fact, Dr. Springer testified that it would not have been so long as she did not experience exsanguination (bled out).

There was also no evidence of self-defense wounds. She did not have any injuries to her hands, the tips of her fingers, her fingernails, or her knuckles – all common places to have superficial injuries relating to self-defense behaviors. Due to the gunshot wound below Jennifer’s left eye, Dr. Springer could not determine if that eye was bruised prior to the shooting. Her left eye was not bruised.

Lastly, toxicology revealed that Jennifer had a large amount of methamphetamine (3207 ng/mL) and amphetamine (853 ng/mL) in her blood when she died. Additionally, she had a small amount of hydrocodone (108 ng/mL) in her system.

Dr. William Smock’s Testimony

Dr. William S. Smock performed the living forensic examination of Darrell Wilson. Dr. Smock is the police surgeon of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Additionally, he directs the Clinical Forensic Medicine Program for that police department and has testified in high profile cases such as in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

During the living forensic examination of Darrell Wilson, Dr. Smock determined that the single bullet that hit Darrell entered the back of the left side of his head and traveled diagonally downwards becoming lodged in the top right area of the back of Darrell’s head. Based on the trajectory of the bullet from where it entered to where it was lodged, Dr. Smock testified that the shot must have been fired from above Darrell’s head.

Dr. Smock was not able to determine how close the firearm was discharged from, but he testified that during the living forensic examination he noted triangular tears and gaseous patterns beneath the tissue surrounding the entry wound. These findings are consistent with a contact wound. That being said, Dr. Smock testified that the bullet could have been fired from an intermediate distance of 48 inches or less based on coloration.

Lastly, no defensive wounds were discovered aside from a small circular wound on the knuckle attaching Darrell Wilson’s pointer finger on the left hand. Neither of his eyes were bruised unlike what Jodie Cecil told detectives during her interview with Detective Royce.

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