Sunday, February 21, 2016
The Adnan Syed PCR proceeding was probably the first that many people followed via Twitter. But it's certainly not the only court proceeding to receive social media attention. Yesterday, a reader sent me information regarding the Timoty McVay case, which apparently contained interesting testimony about mixed lividity.
The State's theory of the McVay case was that McVay killed 29 year-old Carrie Olson at his house in Rock Hill, Illinois between 4:00 A.M. and 6:15 A.M. on December 28, 2013. According to the State, McVay then transported Olson's body to an isolated property less than eight hour later and put her in an awkward position, "with her arms above her head about 40 feet from the road in Hastings, Minnesota." Here are some tweets about the lividity evidence:
These were just some of the tweets by @ about the case, and tweeting was also done by @, who reported that the medical examiner was Owen Middleton, the Assistant Chief Medical Examiner for the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
You might recall that mixed lividity/dual lividity/second lividity is the process by which there should be two lividity patterns in a victim if the body is moved from one position to another position in the 8-12 (or so) hours after death and before lividity has become fully fixed. It's why medical examiners have said that Hae Min Lee could not have been "pretzeled up" in the trunk of her Nissan Sentra for 4-5 hours after death, followed by a burial in Leakin Park in the 7:00 hour.
Does the same apply in the Timothy McVay case? It's impossible for me to tell without knowing more about the case. As good as live tweeting can be for figuring out the basics of a case, there is no substitute for being in the courtroom or at least reading a transcript. What I do know is that, after McVay was convicted, he filed a Motion to Vacate Convictions and Dismiss, which contained the following argument:
Again, this seems like a pretty compelling argument to me, but I would love to see a transcript of the ME's testimony and the State's argument before drawing any conclusions.