Ex-medical examiner says RI girl died in restraint

AP News
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Posted: Oct 03, 2011 1:49 PM
Ex-medical examiner says RI girl died in restraint

An 8-year-old girl whose mother is on trial for murder died during a restraint attempt while her body was straddled and pinned to the floor by a knee on her arm, the former chief medical examiner of Rhode Island testified on Monday.

Dr. Elizabeth Laposata used a mannequin the same height as Camden Fry to how she was restrained before dying in 2009. Laposata, who is testifying for the defense at the trial of Kimberly Fry, 38, also showed jurors how the girl's mouth was covered with a hand and how pressure was applied to the sides of her neck and around her collarbone.

"It's my understanding she was trying to restrain Camden," Laposata said during her cross-examination.

Laposata testified Camden died as a result of asphyxiation brought on by a combination of chest compressions, suffocation and pressure being applied to the sides of her neck. Fry has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Defense attorney Sarah Wright has said Fry did not intend to kill her daughter.

Laposata said Camden lost consciousness within two or three minutes after the combination of suffocation, chest compressions and strangulation began. She said the girl died in five to 10 minutes.

Acting chief medical examiner Dr. William Cox testified last week that Camden died of respiratory and cardiac failure as a result of asphyxiation by strangulation. He had said Camden lost consciousness in 10 to 20 seconds and died four to six minutes later. He pegged her time of death between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2009.

The girl's father, Timothy Fry, 41, testified he found Camden dead in her bed clutching a stuffed animal the following morning at about 9:30 a.m. He said Kim Fry told him she sat on Camden and covered her nose and mouth to get her to stop kicking, biting and punching at bath time while he was at hockey.

Kimberly Fry began crying as Laposata demonstrated on the mannequin how she believes Camden died. Laposata was hired by the Fry family to investigate the girl's death. She examined Camden's body at a funeral home nine days after her death.

Laposata will continue testifying Monday.

Newly released police records also show Kimberly Fry was involved in a domestic violence incident with her father while she lived in New Hampshire.

In 2004, a fight between Fry and her father, Francisco Souza, escalated to the point that both armed themselves with knives, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.

The incident took place at Fry's home in Moultonborough, N.H., on Dec. 20, 2004. Souza, the police report said, repeatedly threatened to kill Fry after she came home late while he was babysitting for Camden, who was then 3-years-old.

Fry held a knife in a "defensive position" during the incident, the report said. The confrontation was broken up by Fry's mother. Fry did not press charges but took out a restraining order against Souza, the report said.

No one answered the telephone Monday at Souza's home in Florida.