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Forensic pathologists differ on cause, manner of death in Baby Favi case

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- Day 4 of the ongoing Lalo Castrillo case, involving the death of 2-year-old Faviola Rodriguez in 2018, presented dueling medical opinions about what caused Baby Favi to die.

The state's case is that Castrillo hurt Favi while he was watching her.

They've relied on the Medical Examiner's ruling, that the death is a homicide, caused by blunt trauma to the head.

Dr. Lindsay Smith is the Forensic Pathologist who performed the autopsy. She was a trainee at the time, under Dr. Kurt Nolte, with University of New Mexico hospitals.

Dr. Smith testified that a large area of baby Favi's brain had bleeding, and there was evidence of older injuries in other places, one dating back 21 days.

She said those injuries could not have come from Favi falling off her bed.

The defense then introduced Dr. Kris Sperry. He's the former Chief Medical Examiner in Georgia.

Dr. Sperry testified that after looking at the evidence in the case, he felt that baby Favi did not die from blunt force trauma to the head.

He said he would have ruled the death undetermined, because he couldn't say with a degree of certainty, that Baby Favi died because of something someone did to her.

Dr. Sperry introduced the possibility that previous injuries to Favi's brain perhaps had not healed, and for whatever reason started bleeding again.

There was testimony that Favi was a very active child, who fell often. The defense wanted to know if it was possible that each one of those falls could have caused those injuries to the degree that they were present.

Court proceedings resume Friday morning.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Leloba Seitshiro

Leloba Seitshiro reports on ABC-7 at 5 and 6 p.m. weekdays.


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