Medical examiner testifies cause of death was homicide


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A medical examiner testified on Monday that the muzzle of the gun that shot Donelle Lindsey was “on the short end of 2 feet” from him when it ended his life in a summer 2012 shooting.

The suspect in the homicide, Brandon Brown, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting. According to a police report, Brown allegedly shot 30-year-old Lindsey around 11:30 p.m. on June 21, 2012, near Mormon Trek Boulevard and Melrose Avenue after an argument between the two men.

The specialist, University of Iowa Clinical Professor Marcus Nashelsky, a forensic pathologist, testified Lindsey was shot five times in the chest and abdomen, and two bullets entered his heart, liver, and kidney, killing him.

“This will cause a loss of consciousness and will cause a fairly rapid death,” Nashelskey said. “The nature of this injury of the heart would have caused unconsciousness very quickly, probably within seconds. Death would have followed shortly thereafter.”

Nashelsky said the autopsy showed residue from the muzzle of the gun were fired only inches away from his body. Autopsy reports also indicated Lindsey had evidence of marijuana in his system as well as a blood-alcohol content three times the legal limit.

Lindsey had received 11 gunshot wounds said Nashlesky. Autopsy photos of Lindsey’s wounds and body were shown in the courtroom, and a few members of the crowd left in tears.

Throughout the course of the morning assistant Johnson County prosecutor Dana Christiansen questioned Nashelsky and David Gonzalez, the lead investigator of the shooting in the Iowa City Police Department.

Gonzalez testified there were nearly 20 Iowa City police officers and Division of Criminal Investigations officers assisting the night of the shooting. However, Gonzalez said, no shell casings or weapons were found at the scene.

After Christiansen rested the state’s case, defense attorney Brian Sissel followed by requesting motion for a judgment of acquittal. Sissel contended that the state lacked sufficient evidence connecting Brown to the crime.

Judge Marsha Bergan denied the request.

The afternoon began with the defense’s first witness, Sonya Blosser, the mother of 21-year-old witness Nicole Blosser, who testified for the prosecution. On Monday, Sonya Blosser said Nicole Blosser left Iowa City on the morning of June 22, 2012 and told her she was going to a friend’s place. On Nov. 15, Nicole Blosser testified she drove her boyfriend and Brown to Chicago the morning after the shooting.

Once Nicole Blosser and boyfriend Ivan Hardemon returned to Iowa City that same morning, Blosser allegedly picked up a package of two small guns at a friend’s place and took them to Brett Kriz’s residence.

The 24-year-old Kritz took the stand and pleaded the Fifth Amendment when defense attorney Sarah Hradek asked if a package was dropped off at his residence at Breckenridge Estates in Iowa City, the day after the shooting.

Sissel said he plans on presenting Brandon Brown’s mother and Iowa City police Sgt. Paul Batcheller at 9 a.m. today in the Johnson County Courthouse.

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