Martinson Defense Depends on Expert Witness Testimony

Jurors will have to decide which expert witness to believe in the murder trial of 40-year-old Jeffrey Martinson. Martinson is charged with the first-degree murder of his 5-year-old son. Medical examiner, Dr. John Hu, wrote that the child was murdered and that the boy was poisoned with muscle relaxer. He wrote that asphyxia is also a possibility in the death. The defense has hired Dr. Janet Ophoven, an assistant coroner in rural St. Louis County, Minnesota, who will testify that the cause of death is only Wu’s opinion, and not a scientific fact. Coroner expert witness Ophoven will argue that there is no standard for the lethal dose of the muscle relaxer in a child. Reports the Ahwatukee Foothills News:

Police say that Joshua Eberle-Martinson was discovered dead on the top bunk of a bedroom in his father’s apartment. Martinson was discovered in the nearby master bedroom, unconscious with cuts on his wrists. All around the apartment, police discovered empty prescription bottles, over-the counter medicine, an empty liquor bottle and plastic bags that may have been used to suffocate the child.