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Fernandez Takes the Stand in Day Five of Overton Hearing


Fernandez Takes the Stand in Day Five of Overton Hearing

Posted: Apr 27, 2012 6:57 PM EDT

Updated: May 10, 2012 1:03 PM EDT


It was supposed to be a two-day affair, but a hearing to determine if Hannah Overton should be granted a new trial will continue next week.

Friday was day five at the Nueces County Courthouse as Overton's defense team argued the death of her adopted son was not her fault.

A few witnesses took the stand, but it was the testimony of the Medical Examiner that stood out. One central issue was bleeding in the brain of 4-year-old Andrew Burd. The defense contends new evidence shows that the injury came from a medical condition the child suffered called Salt Pica.

The testimony came from the star defense witness, a world renown expert on salt poising earlier this week. When asked if he agreed with that conclusion, Medical Examiner Dr. Ray Fernandez, who initially ruled the boy's death a homicide from both salt poisoning and blunt force trauma to the head, stood by his finding.

He said that after performing an autopsy of the boy's digestive tract, he found no evidence of Pica.

People who suffer from Pica eat things with no nutritional value like Styrofoam or plastic and sometimes large amounts of salt. Overton's defense team claims that Andrew ingested the toxic amount of salt without his mom knowing about it.

As for Overton herself, she was attentive the entire day, whispering to her attorneys and taking notes and even smiling at times.

Friday's hearing ended abruptly around 3:00 PM after a witness was not there to take the stand. The judge called a recess until Monday.

2012 Mar 10