LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)— The prosecution wrapped up its case on Tuesday calling the medical examiner to testify 35-year-old Kristen Rodgers died.
42-year-old Izelia Golatt is charged with killing Rogers on March 6 then dumping her body in a north side alley.
Dr. Vincent Tranchida, Dane County Medical Examiner testified Rogers injuries on her neck.
The medical examiner said Rogers died as a result of manual strangulation.
He said just because bones and cartilage didn't break in her neck doesn't mean she wasn't strangled.
"Her hyoid bone was starting to calcify more but it still had some cartilage present. However, the hyoid bone is so high up in the neck that it often can be spared in cases of manual strangulation and I believe that's what happened in this case."
While he said strangulation caused her death, he said she also used drugs several hours before she died.
"She was intoxicated at the time of her death," Tranchida said. "There was a foreign substance present at the time of her death. The substance was cocaine, not just her inner metabolite benzoyl ecgonine, but active cocaine and she was acutely intoxicated."
After the state rested the defense called their first witness who decided to remain silent because he is facing his own drug charges.
Their second witness testified that on the day Kristen Rogers died he was drinking and using drugs all day.
"Yep, I observed her using drugs but I didn't know what type of drugs she had so I'm not going to speculate if it was cocaine or what," Albert said.
"But you saw her using drugs," defense said.
"Yeah I did see but I didn't know what it was," Albert said.
"How was she using them?" defense said.
"She was smoking out of a pipe," Albert said.
The defense case is that Rodgers used drugs to excess and died of hypothermia in the ally where she was found.
Defense will continue its case on Wednesday with testimony from another medical examiner.
Golatt has decided not to take the stand.
They are expected to wrap up testimony and begin deliberations on Wednesday.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.