Sunday Night Stoner Parties:
Images & Transcript
Transcript: Season 2, Episode 4
strangulation, injuries, clark, neck, death, marcus, asks, due, calls, hemorrhages, bruises, stanley, scrapes, tucker, maryann, ecstasy, night, compression, abrasions, autopsy
Dr. Sims-Stanley, Marcus Lillard, ADA Malcor, Penny, Moriah Bray, Mr. Tucker
Hi I'm Penny Dearmin. This is season two Blood Town on Trial After hearing from two respiratory therapists and an EMT, the state calls Moriah Bray.
ADA Malcor 00:27
Did you know Clark Heindel?
Moriah Bray 00:30
ADA Malcor 00:31
How did you know him?
Moriah Bray 00:33
We met through mutual friends. He was often found at metropolis. The owner of Metropolis, Deepak was his very best friend. So yeah, I met him through mutual friends dining out at metropolis and started going to his yoga studio, good karma.
ADA Malcor 00:51
And how often would you see him or talk to him?
Moriah Bray 00:55
Quite often. He used to throw these parties on Sunday nights that were a real blast. I know it's controversial. I don't know how controversial, but....
ADA Malcor 01:07
tell the jury about the parties. You attended them?
Moriah Bray 01:10
ADA Malcor 01:10
you know what they were.
Moriah Bray 01:12
So at the parties, it would be a lot of people just getting together and jamming out to music. A lot of the older gentleman who would go were skilled musicians, drummers, guitar players, Clark could play the accordion. He could play all kinds of instruments. I used to call them my Sunday night stoner parties because people would smoke a little weed, drink some wine, nothing too crazy when I was there. I mean, I personally don't think that weed and wine is all that crazy.
ADA Malcor 01:43
Were there heavier drugs that were used there that you're aware of?
Moriah Bray 01:46
Not that I was ever aware of or ever saw, but I do know that Clark had a history with harder substances.
ADA Malcor 01:54
Had he talked to you about that?
Moriah Bray 01:55
And so yes,
ADA Malcor 01:57
and what did he talk to you about?
Moriah Bray 01:59
So I used to massage Clark in exchange for unlimited yoga classes at his studio. And he talked to me about his younger life. He talked to me about how at one point he used to be a very straight edge kind of person. I believe he was a deacon at the Episcopalian Church in town, for instance, and he lost a son when his son was only six years old, and that deeply affected him. And after that, he began going on a spiritual journey with other substances, I believe he went out to Peru and met with a shaman there to practice Ayahuasca in an attempt to feel closer to his son and gain some kind of understanding about that very early passing.
Ada Melkor asks if Clark mentioned any aggressive traits that the ayahuasca produced?
Moriah Bray 02:49
No, no, I never knew Clark to be violent in any way. He was always a very kind and gentle person. He was a counselor for many years he had a heart for people.
The state plays a video recording of one of the Sunday night stoner parties where there are musicians and Moriah Bray is singing the House of the Rising Sun. ADA Malcor asks, If Miss Bray knows the defendant, Marcus Lillard.
Moriah Bray 03:22
I believe that night was the first night that I met him. And the only other time that I recall interacting with him was when I was working at the I worked at the Green Market, the local farmers market doing chair massage, and he came once and got a chair massage.
ADA Malcor 03:39
Was he there that night?
Moriah Bray 03:41
Yeah, he's in the video.
ADA Malcor 03:43
And is he the one playing the bongos?
Moriah Bray 03:45
I believe. Yeah.
ADA Malcor 03:46
And there was a young man playing the guitar. Do you know who that was?
Moriah Bray 03:49
His son. Carson? Yes.
ADA Malcor 03:52
On Saturday, May 11 to change. Do you remember that evening?
Moriah Bray 03:57
Yes. We were having some margaritas and just going out dancing that night. It was a Saturday night. So it was you know, no stoner party that night. That was Sunday's.
ADA Malcor asks about any communication she received from Clark on May 11.
Moriah Bray 04:15
Well, I received communication from Clark's account. I received phone calls from Clark's phone number, text messages from Clark's phone number and messages from Clark's Facebook. But in the messages themselves, Marcus identifies that it's him contacting me on Clark's devices
ADA Malcor 04:33
and the first message that identifies itself as being from Marcus what time is that?
Moriah Bray 04:39
ADA Malcor 04:41
Could you read that text?
Moriah Bray 04:44
There's a bit of a typo. But it basically says It's Marcus I need you at Clark's ASAP not fun.
ADA Malcor 04:50
What does State's exhibit 72 show?
Moriah Bray 04:53
a text message from Marcus. It's Marcus I need you. No fun. At 11:51 PM, and then it switches to Sunday, May 12, because it's after midnight now at 1224: At Clark's, please.
ADA Malcor 05:09
Alright, and what is shown here in state's exhibit 73.
Moriah Bray 05:14
So this shows missed calls. And it also shows the history of text messages received.
ADA Malcor 05:20
And what time were the missed calls?
Moriah Bray 05:24
Missed call at 11:49pm on May 11, and 11:39pm on May 11. I know why I didn't respond to the messages that night. It was because it wasn't actually Clark, because Marcus identified himself in the messages. And again, I didn't know Marcus super well
ADA Malcor 05:45
You learned from a friend, right? That Clark had died?
Moriah Bray 05:47
Yes, she called and said Clark's dead. He killed himself. I was I was very distraught [crying]. And I felt guilty, because I thought that Marcus was reaching out because he was at Clark's house and Clark was suicidal. And I thought he was trying to get me to come out there. Because he thought I could talk him down. And I didn't go. And I didn't respond.
ADA Malcor 06:15
Have you since learned that that was not true?
Moriah Bray 06:18
Yeah, I mean, I think anyone who knows about this case has learned the events of that night were far more complicated.
ADA Malcor 06:27
Did you at some point later realize that you had also gotten a voicemail that night?
Moriah Bray 06:33
Yes. So when I was first interviewed by the GBI, they asked if I had actually spoken to Marcus and again, you know, I'd been drinking that night and I was very forthright about that. I said, I don't remember having a conversation. And then I was contacted again sometime later, during the investigation and was told that in my phone records that they'd finally been able to access it showed that there was like a phone call of around 50 seconds or so. She called me and I discovered the voicemail after she asked me to look for it and then I called back and said yes, there's a voicemail and and met with her again to give her that evidence.
The state introduces a recording of the voicemail and just a warning that this could be disturbing to some listeners
Marcus Lillard 07:22
[Sounds like Marianne gasping or drawing in labored breath] Hey Moriah, it's Marcus. I'm at Clark's. We have something going on over here that ain't all that fun, and I think probably you could make it go better. Call me please. [Breath repeats]
It might be hard for you to hear or make out. But to me it sounds like someone is wheezing or gasping for air there is the potential that at 1139 at the latest Marcus called Mariah Bray and left this voicemail. And Marianne is still alive. And if you recall, Clark did not call 911 until 1:06am.
Mr. Tucker 08:23
As you were at these parties did. As the night progressed, people kind of hook up or you would see couples drifting off or going somewhere on his property or in his house.
Moriah Bray 08:35
So not usually but I did see Marcus hook up with one of my friends in the hot tub. At the party, I believe at the party that I met him at the one in the video where you can see him playing. I left that evening and when I left they were in the hot tub together. I didn't you know see any activity actually going on. But I assumed that that was where it was headed.
Mr. Tucker 08:59
When you met Marcus on May 11th. Is that when you gave him a massage?
Moriah Bray 09:07
Mr. Tucker 09:08
What was the date you gave him a massage?
Moriah Bray 09:11
So I'm I gave him a massage on May 11. But that was not the day that I met him.
Mr. Tucker 09:18
So you did give him a massage on May 11th?
Moriah Bray 09:21
Mr. Tucker 09:21
And he really didn't know who you were just basically knew you were Clark's friend.
Moriah Bray 09:25
Right. I would say that we were acquaintances
Mr. Tucker 09:28
He knew that he knew that you were a massage therapist?
Moriah Bray 09:31
Right. Licensed massage therapist. Yes, sir.
The state calls Dr. Sims-Stanley, she's a medical examiner. She's performed approximately 5300 autopsies and the Court recognized her as an expert in forensic pathology. She performed the autopsy on Marianne Shockley on May 13.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 09:55
She had multiple abrasions which are scrapes, contusions which are bruises scattered over the face, also involving the neck, the torso or trunk of the body and the arms or legs and the arms and legs. There was a laceration. The right forehead, a laceration is a blunt force impact due to crushing and tearing on the skin. Not cutting of the skin. internal injuries included injuries to the neck that are consistent with manual strangulation.
Dr. Sims-Stanley is pointing to some diagrams from an anatomy book that show the neck and throat She explains that strangulation is external compression to the neck. The mechanism of death in strangulation is irreversible damage to the brain due to a lack of adequate blood and oxygen supply. She's pointing out and explaining different aspects of the anatomy in the throat such as the muscles, and now she's explaining about the hyoid bone,
Dr. Sims-Stanley 11:06
What we see right here, this white area is the hyoid. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone that's situated high in the neck behind the lower jaw, the mandible. It serves as a site of multiple muscle attachments. Because of its location, the hyoid is very well protected from injury. And in strangulation, the hyoid bone is vulnerable to injury.
Dr. Sims-Stanley has been standing next to the jury box pointing out different parts of the anatomy and she now returns to the stand to testify about the autopsy photos.
ADA Malcor 11:47
What do you see in this picture? As far as her face
Dr. Sims-Stanley 11:51
You can see multiple abrasions, which are scrapes that involve the protruding or bony prominences of the face, the forehead, the nose, or bony, portions of the bony orbital rims and cheeks as well as the mouth and chin. There are also some bruises contusions on the face. On the right forehead, there is a laceration which is a blunt force injury, not a sharp force injury. Not due to cutting of the skin. It's due to crushing and tearing the skin.
ADA Malcor 12:27
Now at first glance, these injuries might look to be consistent with a beating. Are they?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 12:34
ADA Malcor 12:35
Okay, and why did you say that?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 12:36
These injuries are consistent with a terminal fall or an unmitigated fall, a fall where someone is either unresponsive or not able to reflexively protect their face from falling. We know that because again the bony prominences of protruding areas of the face are involved. The forehead, nose, the bony structures of the face, but the recessed portions of the face, the skin of a the eyelids, the bridge of the nose, portions of the insides of the cheeks, those are protected
ADA Malcor 13:13
would the injuries that you see here be consistent with an unconscious person falling and hitting her face.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 13:21
ADA Malcor asks Dr. Sims-Stanley if she can determine if the injuries to her face occurred prior to her death or after her death. And just a reminder that perimortem means at or before the time of death and post mortem means after death.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 13:40
These injuries would be classified as Peri mortem at or near the time of death. But she did have a blood pressure when these injuries were sustained because she was able to bleed into these injuries.
ADA Malcor 13:53
So, still alive?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 13:55
Yes, This is a photograph of the eyes. I forgot to mention that one of the hallmark findings in strangulation is petechiae. These are pinpoint hemorrhages that are either in the whites of the eyes or the insides of the eyelids. They can also be within the skin the facial skin. They occur above the level of compression due to increased blood pressure and rupture of these very small vessels. It could occur in natural deaths, heart related deaths. They can occur in deaths where there has been extreme vomiting due to the increased vascular pressure.
ADA Malcor asks if the presence of petechiae alone is indicative of manual strangulation
Dr. Sims-Stanley 14:40
Alone. It is not.
Dr. Sims-Stanley tells ADA Malcor that she did observe some vomit on Marianne and that it is very common for individuals to vomit and lose control of their bowels at the time of death. When we're listening to this in the courtroom, we're not really understanding the relevance of the vomit but it is something you want to keep in mind. It will come up later in the trial as far as the defendant's theory about how Marianne died.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 15:18
We also see in this photograph the abrasions that are spanning the chin and then we see the red bruises that are on the left upper front of the neck. Bruises are typically seen in manual strangulation, obviously due to compression of the neck.
Dr. Sims-Stanley testified about some other Peri mortem injuries. Marianne has multiple bruises on the inside of her left arm and the base of the hand, bruises and scrapes around the elbow of the left arm, bruises on the left wrist, left fingers have linear and irregular abrasions.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 16:00
This is a photograph of the legs. You can see that there are bruises and scrapes involving the knees. There are also similar injuries involving the backs of the feet and the toes.
On the right side, her hand, forearm, and the outer portion of her wrist all have bruises and there are abrasions on her right hand and knuckles. ADA Malcor asks if the injuries are consistent with her being picked up, grabbed and held. And Dr. Sims-Stanley says yes they can be ADA Melkor asks Are the injuries to the tops of her feet consistent with her being dragged and Dr. Sims-Stanley says yes, the state now introduces photographs of the interior in the neck area.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 16:51
There's dark discoloration representing hemorrhage or bleeding at the base of the right sternocleidomastoid muscle.
The jury is shown images of several areas of hemorrhages around the muscles in the neck and around the hyoid. Hemorrhages are found on both sides of the muscle both at the superficial and deep level.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 17:14
It shows that there was compression to the neck which would have occluded the vascular structures, the blood vessels to the neck and interfered with the delivery of oxygen to the brain.
ADA Malcor 17:24
Would that be a significant amount of compression?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 17:27
Yes, if you have hemorrhage to the internal structures of the neck it does indicate a significant amount of pressure.
This question about the amount of pressure applied is going to come up again later. So make sure you remember that.The state shows the next picture of the interior of the throat area
Dr. Sims-Stanley 17:46
in there is soft tissue hemorrhage overlying the right greater horn of the hyoid bone. Manual strangulation can cause fractures of the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage particularly those tapering superior horns.
Dr. Sims-Stanley testifies that you don't have to see fractures of the structures. In this case her hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage were intact. However, if you see hemorrhage of the soft tissue overlying the structures, it shows that there was compression in these areas, which is consistent with manual strangulation
ADA Malcor 18:24
does the fact that the hyoid bone in this case is not fractured change your opinion as to her cause of death.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 18:33
ADA Malcor asks the cause of her death,
Dr. Sims-Stanley 18:37
asphyxia due to strangulation
ADA Malcor 18:40
Were you able to determine the manner of death?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 18:42
For the purposes of a medical examiner if the actions of another individual cause or contribute to the death then the manner is classified as a homicide.
ADA Malcor asks about other significant findings at autopsy,
Dr. Sims-Stanley 18:56
she had an enlargement of the heart that can be due to high blood pressure. There was also an enlargement of the liver that can be due to simply vascular congestion due to the heart not pumping as well as it should. There was also enlargement of the spleen. Due to vascular drainage of the spleen. If the liver is enlarged,the spleen is going to enlarge
her blood alcohol was point one one and her blood tested positive for a metabolite of ecstasy. She also had bruising and abrasions to her chest and abdomen. Several of her ribs were fractured, which is consistent with attempts at CPR
ADA Malcor 19:39
with respect to the enlarged heart and the other organs that you mentioned. Did that cause her death?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 19:45
ADA Malcor 19:46
Did the presence of ecstasy in her system cause her death?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 19:50
ADA Malcor 19:50
Was a sexual assault examination conducted?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 19:53
In cases of strangulation when the victim is female. There is usually a sexual component to it. So in cases of suspected strangulation, a sexual assault kit is always performed.
ADA Malcor 20:07
Did you note any injuries at the time of that exam?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 20:10
injuries to her genitalia? No
ADA Malcor 20:13
Was any DNA recovered? Or do you know?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 20:15
I did not know.
ADA Malcor 20:16
But did you do swabs to test for it?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 20:19
Yes, yes, that was part of the sexual assault kit, and then it was submitted to the laboratory.
ADA Malcor 20:24
Would the presence of a body in water affect the results of those swabs?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 20:31
ADA Malcor 20:32
What is manual strangulation? What does that mean?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 20:35
Manual strangulation refers to the assailant using one or both hands, or maybe a forearm or portion of the limb to compress the neck. Due to the extent of the injuries that would be consistent with one or both hands being used.
Mr. Tucker asks Dr. Sims-Stanley, you weren't able to determine if she was strangled with one hand or two hands? Correct?And Dr. Sims-Stanley said yes.
Mr. Tucker 21:06
And it was noted that the victim here had a 400-gram heart?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 21:12
Yes, sir. It is enlarged. Heart weights are typically based on the height of the person. So based on her height for a woman heart weight would be expected to be 281 plus or minus 30 grams. An enlarged Heart is more vulnerable to abnormal electrical activity
Mr. Tucker 21:32
And the compression around the hyoid bone. That seemed to be a large amount of compression, a small amount of compression...
Dr. Sims-Stanley 21:39
It shows that there was compression, the significance is that it was a marker. It's one of the markers that shows that there was compression of the neck. That compression then would have occluded the blood vessels in front of the neck, which would have interfered with the blood supply to the brain. The mechanism of death in strangulation is brain damage due to an inadequate supply of oxygen.
Mr. Tucker asks What is the difference between strangulation and asphyxiation?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 22:12
strangulation is one of those forms of asphyxia or asphyxiation. Strangulation refers to external compression of the neck. Again, that's not due to the weight of the decendent's head that would be hanging, which causes occlusion of the blood vessels of the neck and interference with the blood supply and oxygen supply to the brain.
Mr. Tucker asks if it could be one or the other, and it gets confusing here. I think what he's trying to say is it could be either asphyxiation or strangulation, but Dr. Sims Stanley asks, do you mean manual strangulation or ligature strangulation, which she calls ligature, so little pronunciation difference there, and she says that the evidence shows it's not ligature strangulation, but rather manual strangulation,
Dr. Sims-Stanley 23:09
with manual strangulation, especially the form of manual strangulation where you're not just simply pressing on the neck with an arm or the slide of the hand, but actual grasping of the neck with one or both hands, that allows for multiple deep injuries to the structures of the neck, and the protective structures of the neck, which again, all of the injuries that we talked about the soft tissue hemorrhages around the hyoid and the thyroid cartilage and strap muscles, and the petechiae of The eyes are just markers that there was compression of the neck, which caused a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Mr. Tucker 23:48
So, the petechiae, that can occur from extreme vomiting, correct?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 23:53
It can. Yes sir.
Mr. Tucker 23:54
How long after death could bruising and scrapes like that occur?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 23:59
after death, you wouldn't have bruising with the coloration that we see. But you can have abrasions, and there were abrasions on her body, which were on the abdomen and one of the thighs which had a yellow color. So then that's indicative of abrasions or scrapes of the body when there was no longer enough of a blood pressure to bleed within those wounds.
Mr. Tucker asks if injuries to the tongue and throa, could that be consistent with trying to put fingers down your throat to cause yourself to vomit or gag?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 24:37
They could be injuries that were due during the assault or strangulation or it could be as a person is dying. It's common to bite down on the tongue which causes lacerations and hemorrhaging into the tongue. So I would say any injuries to the tongue are nonspecific injuries.
Mr. Tucker 24:57
As somebody as you said there were marks of attempts at CPR Correct?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 25:01
Mr. Tucker 25:02
Now if somebody was trying to give mouth to mouth, and they would try to hold the head steady or trying to hold the neck so they could breathe into it. They would leave marks like that too, correct?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 25:13
It's possible. She she did have injuries to her lips and to the insides of lips hemorrhages and there was a small laceration. So that shows that there was a pressure applied to the front of the mouth.
Mr. Tucker refers to the high level of ecstasy in Marianne's blood.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 25:35
I didn't say high, but Yes, sir. She she did have ecstasy and its metabolite in her blood.
Mr. Tucker 25:41
And what was that level?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 25:42
The ecstasy, we'll call it, level was 1.9 milligrams per liter, the metabolite was approximately 77 micrograms per liter. I cannot give a quote unquote high level because this is an illicit drug. So there there is no therapeutic level for this drug. So therefore, there there would not be a quote unquote toxic level of this drug any, any level could be toxic.
Mr. Tucker provides Clark Heindel's toxicology report and asks her to read his level of ecstasy which she reads as the MDMA level,
Dr. Sims-Stanley 26:20
the methylene dioxin methamphetamine level is 0.72.
Mr. Tucker 26:27
Quite a difference between what was in the victim, correct.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 26:30
Yes, her level was 1.9.
Mr. Tucker asks, was there anything else you saw that this could have been besides strangulation and Dr. Sims-Stanley says a complete autopsy showed she died of strangulation. Mr. Tucker points out that the compression left marks but that the hyoid bone was not fractured or broken.
Dr. Sims-Stanley 26:57
Yes, but again, there were soft tissue hemorrhages there. So as I said, that was just one of the markers showing that there was compression to the neck, which would have occluded the blood vessels in front of the neck.
Mr. Tucker asks, Does the marking show that there was enough force attempted to break that bone?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 27:19
This case showed all of the classic findings of manual strangulation. She had a petechiae, pinpoint hemorrhages in the eyes. There were some contusions or bruises on the the left front of her neck, but she had the classic signs: she had multiple lateral soft tissue superficial and deep hemorrhages, and she had hemorrhages over the hyoid bone which, which again, as I said is very well protected from from injury, and soft tissue hemorrhages overlying the thyroid cartilage. So these are markers of compression of the neck. If you have that much compression of the neck that is causing the soft tissue hemorrhages into the muscle, the superficial the deep muscles, the hemorrhages overlying these bony and cartilaginous structures, then the blood vessels the common carotid arteries and the internal jugular veins are going to be compressed. And that's going to interfere with an adequate blood and oxygen supply to the brain
Mr. Tucker 28:22
Did it appear to be directed in strong manner to leave those kind of bruisings and hemmorages?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 28:28
In manual strangulation, often more force is used than necessary to subdue and overpower the victim and compress the neck to cause unconsciousness.
Mr. Tucker 28:41
Were those hands there to try to strangle the individual?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 28:45
Those hands deliberately compressed the neck, which then resulted in death due to strangulation. Compression was applied to the neck until she lost consciousness. And then there was a period of time an unspecified period of time where she lingered in unconsciousness before finally dying. And I say that because we see all the multiple injuries of the abrasions on her face, where she still had a blood pressure. So there was that's consistent with the period where she was unconscious, and where her body was moved and face impacted. Other parts of her body, the arms, the hands, the knees, the backs of the feet were also scraped, as well.
Mr. Tucker asks the ecstasy combined with the high temperature of a hot tub or say a body temperature that could cause asphyxiation, correct?
Dr. Sims-Stanley 29:45
No, sir. Ecstasy is a stimulant. It's a powerful stimulant drug. So the way in which it would cause death would be due to increasing the blood pressure, possibly causing a hemorrhagic stroke, or causing an abnormal or fatal heart rhythm. So if her autopsy had no other findings, other than the toxicology and the enlarged heart then I would have attributed the death to that, however, her injuries were classic textbook classic for manual strangulation.
Both the prosecution and the defense hammered home Dr. Sims-Stanley's expert opinion that strangulation was the cause of death. Despite Mr. Tucker's repeated questioning about ecstasy or Marianne's enlarged heart as the cause of death. The jurors have seen graphic photos of Marianne's autopsy but they have yet to hear Marcus's side of the story from his interviews with the GBI. I imagine it's hard to contextualize the numerous bruises and scrapes and the large gash on her forehead with a narrative that they were caused by them grabbing, dropping, and dragging her. As we break for lunch on the second day of testimony, we are not yet halfway through the trial. In the afternoon, the 404 B witnesses will testify. These are the past sexual partners of Clark and Marcus that we are not allowed to identify. Join Patreon at patreon.com/blood town for early access and bonus content, or leave a rating or review on Apple podcasts, good pods or Spotify. You can visit our website blood town podcast.com or follow us on Facebook or Instagram @bloodtownpodcast and on Twitter @bloodtownpod