BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Michael Baden, world-renowned medical examiner and forensic pathologist took the stand on Wednesday for the Krauseneck trial.
Baden has assisted in many high-profile cases for decades: including the Attica prison riots, OJ Simpson case, George Floyd death, Jeffrey Epstein death and more.
Why was he in Rochester today?
Baden says Brighton Police reached out to him in 2018, inquiring if he could assist on the case. At the time, the medical examiner from the ’80s was no longer alive.
All of this, occurred after the case was essentially reopened in 2015, a few years before James Krauseneck’s arrest.
On Wednesday, Baden testified that he studied many documents from the case; including police reports, autopsy reports, photographs, and other evidence.
After studying all the evidence, Baden believes Cathy Krauseneck died before James left for work that morning.
Time of death plays a crucial role in this determination, he says.
In looking at the death certificate from the medical examiner in 1982, Baden says the medical cause of death, or “final diagnosis,” is “severe chopping injuries to the head and brain.”
The prosecution showed the certificate to the jury in court Wednesday.
Baden believes the time of death was before the original medical examiner’s — due to partially digested food in her stomach and body stiffness.
Body stiffness, or “Rigor Mortis” was observed by the original medical examiner that evening.
Baden says it takes at least 12 hours after death, to reach this level of Rigor Mortis.
In his opinion, this would mean Cathy died sometime between 9 p.m. the previous evening and 3 or 4 a.m. the next morning.
“Which means she died before James went to work, according to his opinion,” said Patrick Gallagher, Chief of Domestic Violence Bureau for Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.
Gallagher says it’s important to have someone with Baden’s level of experience take the stand for this case.
“To us, it’s very important, he is obviously renowned, you heard the cases he worked on, he was hired by the U.S government to examine JKF and MLK Jr., so just some of the things he’s done, you can’t match that,” he said.
Baden also testifies, the evidence shows her body had not been moved at any time, after her death.
Court resumes at 10 a.m. Thursday morning, where Baden will testify for the cross-examination.