A Manhattan juror suddenly fainted in his seat Wednesday as graphic autopsy photos of victim Shele Danishefsky were displayed on a large monitor at the murder trial of her estranged husband.
With accused killer Rod Covlin looking on, Senior Medical Examiner Jonathan Hayes was in the midst of testifying about the disturbing images when juror No. 8’s head suddenly flopped forward.
“He needs medical help!” screamed another panelist as Hayes quickly exited the stand to tend to the stricken juror — all with an image of Danishefsky’s fractured hyoid bone, which anchors the tongue, projecting onto a screen.
Another juror, who happened to be a nurse, also rushed to the man’s side.
The judge halted the proceeding, and the sickened juror was removed from the courtroom for treatment.
The jurist reassured the gallery that the man had regained his wits but dismissed him and swapped in an alternate.
As the juror left court he said that he had in part fainted in reaction to the gruesome photographs — which included an image of Danishefsky’s neck peeled back to expose underlying muscles.
Justice Ruth Pickholz denied defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb’s motion for a mistrial over the incident.
In earlier testimony, Hayes said he received Danishefsky’s body Jan. 1, 2010, a day after the banker was found face-down in the bathtub by her 9-year-old daughter in her Upper West Side home.
“When I opened up the [body] bag I immediately said, we need an autopsy,” Hayes told the jury. “I was struck by the injuries she had on her face. She had scratches on her face.”
Riveted jurors were shown autopsy photos of Danishefsky’s face marred by bright red scratches and cuts on her nose, lower eyelids, cheeks and lips.
Read the remainder of the New York Post article here.
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