Medical examiner: Man shot by federal agent died from short-range bullet wound

Dr. Kanthi De Alwis

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The Christopher Deedy murder trial continued on Wednesday.

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on 23-year-old Kollin Elderts says he died from a bullet wound at short range the morning of Nov. 5, 2011.

Medical Examiner Kanthi De Alwis testified that the gun that killed Elderts was no more than 10 inches away from his chest when the bullet killed him.

“Went through two layers of clothing and some got deposited on the skin is significant, that it’s a very close-range wound,” Dr. De Alwis said.

Dr. De Alwis said there were also powder burns on the shirt and undershirt Elderts was wearing, as well as powder burns on his chest.

There was at least one other injury as well — an abrasion to his shin.

Dr. De Alwis: “This shows the same injury close-up view with a bruise and a scrape.”

Prosecutor: “And was that a fresh bruise or an old bruise?”

Dr. De Alwis: “It was fresh.”

Several witnesses have testified that Deedy kicked Elderts during the course of their confrontation.

Dr. De Alwis also performed toxicology tests on Elderts that showed significant amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol in his system.

There was speculation on how and when Elderts was shot. Defense attorney Carl Blanke offered his own theory.

“If Kollin Elderts were on top of someone and bent over them and I’m turning state’s exhibit over on its side, so that the upper torso is bent over someone and someone else is on the ground, then a gunshot coming up like this from the ground would be consistent with that trajectory,” Blanke said.

“As long as it, the muzzle end, is higher,” Dr. De Alwis said.

Late Wednesday afternoon, McDonald’s employee Brandalynn Salzbrenner testified she believed it was Deedy who started the fight with Elderts.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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