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Prosecution rests in murder trial

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Defense to press insanity plea

By Abdon Sidibe

INVERNESS — The prosecution in the trial of accused killer Jennifer Marino rested its case Wednesday, but not before putting the medical examiner on the stand.

Dr. Wendy Lavezzi, assistant chief medical examiner for District 5, described the various injuries sustained by Mary Haynie, whose vehicle Marino is accused of carjacking. Marino is accused of running over Haynie with the vehicle and killing her.

Marino, 34, of Longwood, is charged with murdering the 64-year-old Lecanto woman on April 7, 2010, after a scuffle involving the carjacking. Marino is charged with first-degree murder and faces a life sentence if convicted.

Officials and witnesses said Haynie ran out of a pet grooming business in a shopping plaza and tried to stop Marino, but Marino reportedly pushed Haynie to the ground and ran her over with the SUV. Marino then proceeded to leave the parking lot, authorities said. Haynie later died from her injuries at Citrus Memorial hospital. 

Marino was arrested later that day in Wildwood.

Lavezzi told jurors Haynie died from blunt-force trauma and her injuries are consistent with contact with a hard surface, such as asphalt.

Prosecutor Pete Magrino wanted Lavezzi to explain to jurors which injuries might have caused the Haynie’s death.

Lavezzi said the right side of  Haynie’s chest cavity near the lungs was filled with blood. She also had several broken ribs on her left side. She had hemorrhaging underneath her scalp. She said could have died from the “significant blood loss” into the chest cavity.

After the prosecution rested, defense attorney and assistant public defender Devon Sharkey made a motion arguing without the carjacking charge, there will not be murder charges in the case. Sharkey said the prosecution was relying on testimony of a witness from a pet grooming business whose views were obstructed.

“This was obviously a car theft,” Sharkey said.

But prosecutor Magrino and Judge Ric Howard said the witness clearly indicated she saw Marino and Haynie struggle over the steering wheel. Sharkey’s motion was denied.

Thursday, the defense is expected to present mental health experts to bolster an insanity assertion.

The defense claims Marino was “suffering a severe manic episode” that day. She also had been in three mental hospitals months before the incident.

Last May, a psychologist Marino had been working with while in custody declared her “competent and ready to proceed” to trial.

Harry Krop also said during testimony Marino suffers bouts of hallucination and paranoia and would appear competent at one meeting and would “decompensate” at another. Decompensation is when someone who has an illness or condition they have been compensating for with medications, treatment and other strategies begins to show symptoms again.