Autopsy: Pascagoula dog trainer died from shot to the neck
February 29, 2012 at 6:52 PM CST - Updated June 26 at 4:27 PM
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX)
Graphic photos and an autopsy report detailing the death of a well known Jackson County dog trainer were the key evidence on day two of Rodney McKenzie's capital murder trial.
McKenzie is accused of killing and stealing prescription drugs from Johnny Bullock back in 2010. The prosecution told the jury Bullock died a horrible death.
McKenzie laid his head back and sat quietly as autopsy pictures of the victim flashed on screen for the jury to see. Pathologist Dr. Paul McGarry was the first to testify. He told the court that the dog trainer was shot once in the neck and quickly bled to death.
"Blood was in both lungs, and he was breathing blood," McGarry said.
In August 2010, Bullock was found dead inside his van in Pascagoula, and McKenzie was arrested as the suspected triggerman. That's something his lawyers don't deny, but they argue McKenzie fired the shot in self defense. Pathologist McGarry told the jury Wednesday, Bullock was badly beaten before he was shot.
"His injuries were more of a defensive type on the back of the wrist, his elbow. I would say he had hard blows delivered to the side of his head."
Crime scene experts testified about the DNA found on the victim's van.
"All the ones identified in the case came back to match the fingerprint cards and palm cards bearing the name Rodney Phillip McKenzie," state crime lab expert Heather Burkett said.
Jurors also saw the .380 pistol prosecutors said was used to shoot Bullock.
"This firearm, at that point in time, is ready to be fired," state crime expert Carl Fullilove said. "This has a manual safety."
The lead investigator, who interviewed McKenzie shortly after the shooting, was ill Wednesday, so the judge recessed until Thursday morning when the detective is expected to take the stand.
The pathologist also testified Wednesday that Bullock had bloody money in his pocket and 20 Lortab pills before the autopsy was performed.