Doctor: Teen in Fatal HS Stabbing Was Choked

Autopsy expert testifies that marks on the neck of teen accused of fatally stabbing another are consistent with being choked in an arm lock

Marks on the neck of a student charged with fatally stabbing a classmate during a fight are consistent with someone being choked in an arm lock, a doctor testified during the teen's trial on Thursday.

Dr. John Marraccini, who is an autopsy expert, said the marks on 18-year-old Andy Rodriguez's neck just after the 2009 incident prove that he was being held in a choke hold by Juan Carlos Rivera as the two fought in a courtyard at Coral Gables High School.

Rodriguez's attorneys have claimed the boy had no choice but to stab his way out.

Jurors were shown photos of bruises on Rodriguez taken after the Sept. 14 fight.

"What you see is consistent with Mr. Rodriguez being placed in an arm bar choke hold," Marraccini said. "That's why the defendant perceived himself as being choked."

Marriccini also said that the stabbing likely occurred on or near the ground, which goes against testimony by two other witnesses who claimed Rodriguez walked behind Rivera and stabbed the teen.

Rodriguez is charged with second-degree murder.

Then 17, Rodriguez allegedly started the fight with Rivera because he thought the teen was trying to steal his girlfriend, prosecutors told the jury.

The defense is expected to continue to call witnesses Friday.

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