The Defense Rests In Joseph Patterson Murder Trial

Defense Ophthalmologist Testifies Before Three Day Break

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The defense rested in the trial for Joseph Patterson, the man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old child back in October of 2013. But first, Patterson’s attorneys called one last witness to testify Thursday morning.

For 2-and-a-half hours Dr. Khaled Tawansy, an ophthalmologist and pediatric retinal surgeon from California, was questioned over the phone in court Thursday.

After reviewing the medical evidence, Tawansy disagreed with the opinion of the doctors who treated Tyrese Ruffin after he received four brain hemorrhages and a dozen retinal hemorrhages in each eye while in Joseph Patterson’s care.

Tawansy testified that Ty’s injuries to his retina were ‘relatively minor’ and ‘really unimpressive’. He said that Ty’s vision wouldn’t have even been affected. When asked if someone would contend that the injuries were consistent with trauma, he said he would have a ‘major issue with that’.

Tawansy testified that in the nearly 1,000 shaken baby cases that he has dealt with, the bleeding in the retina was more extensive and deeper inside or under the retina. He said a combination of prolonged CPR and a blood clotting disorder could have easily contributed to his cardiopulmonary arrest, which occurs in children who choke. In his experience, he said four blows to the head wouldn’t cause cardiopulmonary arrest, at least not right away.

During cross examination, the state referred to articles that Tawansy cited in his report that went against his opinion. Like the other doctors who has testified for the defense, the state also pointed out that Tawansy is getting compensated for consulting in this case.

In a matter of three days, Patterson’s attorneys called at least seven witnesses compared to the 15 called by the state over the course five days.

The trial will resume on Monday with rebuttal witnesses. Closing arguments are expected to take place on Tuesday.