CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The coroner who performed the autopsy on Aniya Day-Garrett took the witness stand Tuesday afternoon to testify in the murder trial against Sierra Day and Deonte Lewis.
Watch the full testimony here. Warning, the details are graphic:
Cuyahoga County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Joseph Felo said that Aniya died as a result of “organized left subdural hematoma,” or blood clot, and “subacute cerebral infarctions,” or a stroke. Malnutrition was also a contributing factor.
“Aniya Garrett died as a result of a cerebral infarction, and that was due to blunt impacts to head with subdural hematoma and she also had a contributing cause of death as malnutrition,” Dr Felo stated. “This is classified as a homicide.”
Dr. Felo reviewed the autopsy report while in court, detailing the findings that were discovered during the March 12, 2018 examination.
The 4-year-old weighed 26 pounds at the time of her death on March 11, 2018, according to Dr. Felo. He says that approximately 97 percent of children her age and height weigh more than Aniya did.
His first impression of Aniya was that she was “very, very thin” because she was severely malnourished.
He compared Aniya’s skin to that of an older adult because it appeared wrinkled and sagging.
“Her skin is very loose and that’s because she’s lost the muscles and fat that make our skin more plump,” Dr. Felo said.
During an internal examination, a blood clot was found on Aniya’s brain.
“Because of that hematoma, or blood clot, it had pressed on the surface of the brain to cause the left side of her brain to have a stroke,” Dr. Felo described. “All of that had happened weeks to months prior to her death.”
The stroke on the left portion of the brain would have caused Aniya to be clumsy and uncoordinated, according to Dr. Felo. Testimony from past witnesses said Day previously said Aniya was unable to walk a short time before her death.
Erika Johnson, Sierra’s sister, also offered testimony that painted a grim picture.
“(Sierra) became very distant, stop coming around as much. We didn’t hear from her as much...One time I even observed Aniya coming out with a bloody nose,” she said.
Additional health conditions discovered during Dr. Felo’s exam included:
- Prominent black eye around her left eye, purple in color
- Laceration on the left upper eyelid
- Swollen eyelids
- Bruise on the right side of forehead, estimated to be about a week old
- Minor abrasions scattered on body
- Abrasion to her right earlobe
- Patches of skin that appeared to be “sloughed off”
- Skin “slippage”
- Blisters on the lower legs and feet
- Hemorrhages signaling body shock from previous injuries
- A collapsing lung, which prohibited deep breaths
- Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas because of lack of food
- Stomach ulcers because of lack of food
Testimony will resume at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday.