CRIME

Vanessa Pham murder trial continues Tuesday with medical examiner's testimony

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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) - Day three of the Vanessa Pham murder trial gets underway Wednesday morning. Julio Blanco Garcia's taped confession is expected to be played in court. That confession is likely to run about two hours.

The trial of Julio Blanco Garcia continued Tuesday. Pool photo: The Washington Post

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A medical examiner who saw Vanessa Pham after she was murdered in 2010 testified Tuesday that Pham likely didn't die immediately from her wounds.

He gave testimony in the second day of the trial for the man accused of stabbing her to death.

Julio Blanco Garcia's is accused of stabbing Pham 13 times in June of 2010 in what prosecutors believe was a cold-blooded murder. The defendant was alleged to have been high on PCP at the time of the murder.

WATCH: Full video from Day 1 of the Vanessa Pham murder trial

The mother of a longtime friend of Vanessa Pham choked up on the stand Tuesday after recalling seeing her hours before she was killed.

“She was ecstatically happy,” testified Mary McManus, Pham’s friend. “She was really happy that she'd had a good year at school, she was happy she'd found work as a nanny and that was coming together that day. She was just very, very happy.”

That followed a morning of gruesome testimony with medical examiner Dr. Wayne Williams on the stand, explaining his autopsy of Pham.

“Her body and clothing were very bloody. Blood-soaked,” he testified. Williams’ autopsy identified 13 stab wounds to Pham's body. Two to her chest ultimately killed her.

"They would not be immediately fatal, it would take some time, basically bleeding out was her cause of death,” he testified.

During an emotional day of opening statements and testimony on Monday, prosecutors said that Blanco Garcia purposefully armed himself and killed Pham, while defense attorneys argued for lesser charges.

Garcia’s attorneys say their client was high on PCP and had no intention of killing Pham for a ride to the hospital with his infant daughter in his arms. They contend that when Pham took a wrong turn, Garcia panicked and attacked her with what detectives say was a single-edged knife -- after which Garcia escaped through the sunroof.

Williams confirms that Pham tried to fight back, but to no avail: “I noticed numerous sharp force injuries, stab wounds, incise wounds."

 

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