Uscinski said he reviewed Maya’s medical history, medical notes from her condition on the night of her death, and her autopsy report from Dr. Joseph Prahlow, a forensic pathologist.
Uscinski said he did not have enough information to determine whether her death was a homicide.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter questioned Uscinski on the idea of force, asking the doctor to delineate the difference between an accidental fall and something inflicted intentionally.
“Would it not be true, if her head was taken by an adult and slammed into the bathtub, do you agree the force would be greater (than if she fell)?”
“It might be the same,” the doctor replied.
Uscinski also noted that when Maya was first admitted to the hospital on Dec. 2, the first responders only noted the head injury and a scrape on her chin. It was not until later that the bruises on other parts of her body were noted, Uscinski said.
Cotter asked Uscinski if he was being paid for his time to testify, and Uscinski replied he would receive $5,000.
“Did you get compensated $200,000 in 2009 for testifying or reviewing reports on patients you yourself did not treat?” Cotter asked.
“Yes, that’s correct,” Uscinski said.
When defense attorney Jeff Sanford asked Uscinski about payment for his time, Uscinski said he has to charge money because he is unable to work at his own office when he does so.
“It’s not about the money,” Uscinski said. “I think there’s an injustice going on ... I think you need to look at all the facts before making a conclusion.”
Though the state rested its case Monday morning, the judge permitted Cotter to call a medical expert in rebuttal to the testimony of Uscinski, despite objection from Sanford, who said the state’s new expert would only provide a “rehash” of what the state’s previous experts already testified to.
Cotter called local neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Yount, who was expected to testify that the sum total of Maya’s injuries could not have been caused by a fall, and offer a different opinion on literature cited by Uscinski in his testimony.
Escobedo, who has been in custody since Dec. 3, 2008, faces one count of murder, one count of battery and one count of child neglect.
Because of scheduling issues, the prosecution did not cross-examine Escobedo after he testified.
The state is scheduled to do so when the trial resumes today at 1 p.m. in St. Joseph Superior Court. The 12-member jury is made up of nine women and three men.
Staff writer Mary Kate Malone: