NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner testified Tuesday in the murder trial of Nicholas Brooks, 26, accused of killing his fashion designer girlfriend Sylvie Cachay in Dec. 2010.
Dr. Barbara Sampson told the court that the bruises and the marks on Cachay’s neck and the water found in her lungs showed that Cachay died of manual strangulation and drowning in the bathtub where she was found partially submerged at Soho House.
The ME also described bruising on the very top of Cachay’s head. A prosecutor asked whether that could have been caused by a fall.
“It’s very hard to fall on the top of your head. It’s more consistent with being hit over the head,” Sampson replied.
The 33-year-old swimsuit designer was found partially clothed in an overflowing bathtub at the trendy Meatpacking District hotel.
Her friends have testified that she’d complained of Brooks’ slacker ways and drug use. They told the jury Cachay said she’d broken off the relationship just weeks before her death.
Cachay’s parents, who’ve been in court every day of the trial, sat through the testimony from the ME and the showing of their daughter’s autopsy photos.
Brooks’ defense lawyers have argued that the five prescription drugs Cachay was on at the time of her death could have caused her to pass out and fall in the tub.
But that argument was sharply refuted by the medical examiner, who said the drugs played no role in her death.
Cachay’s doctor, who testified last week, also rejected that scenario because none of the pills “have a great sleepiness result.”
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