Commonwealth v. Brown
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
No. 40 EAP 2016, 2018 Pa. LEXIS 2766 (2018)
Darnell Brown (defendant) was charged with killing Cory Morton. Pennsylvania law required an autopsy to be conducted when a death was not by natural causes, for purposes of determining whether the death was the result of a crime. Dr. Marlon Osbourne conducted the autopsy on Morton. The autopsy report found that Morton was shot four times. By the time of Brown’s trial, Osbourne was no longer working at the medical examiner’s office where he conducted the autopsy. The prosecution (plaintiff) called Dr. Albert Chu as an expert witness. Chu presented his independent opinion on the cause of death, based on reviewing Osbourne’s report and the autopsy photographs. Chu had not participated in the autopsy. Brown objected to the introduction of the testimony and photographs. The trial court overruled Brown’s objections, admitting the autopsy report, the autopsy photographs, and Chu’s testimony into evidence. Brown was convicted, and he appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dougherty, J.)
Concurrence (Donohue, J.)
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