It might not be pored over in quite as much detail as the Oscar Pistorius or Henri van Breda trials, but chances are you’re familiar with the basics of what has led to Jason Rohde being accused of murdering his wife.
This one has been playing out in the Western Cape High Court, with Rohde being grilled on exactly what happened at the Spier Wine Estate back in 2016.
It would take far too long to recap his entire account of the night before and morning of, but thanks to Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys we don’t have to.
They’ve put together an infographic that sums up how Jason says events played out, so we’ll go through that before we see what happened in court yesterday:
Yesterday’s court session saw a pathologist paid by Jason Rohde to do a second autopsy on his wife contradicting the account of the state’s pathologist, Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan.
Coetzee-Khan had testified that he “had recommended police investigate a possible homicide after noting blood stains in the room, scratches on Susan’s face and blunt force trauma injuries which suggested a physical altercation”.
Dr Reggie Perumal [below] also said that he found no injuries to rule out Rohde’s version of events.
He did the autopsy at Rohde’s request, more than a week after her death.
His report suggested her injuries were consistent with ligature strangulation.
The history he provided in the report was that she had hanged herself with an electric cord. This was in line with Rohde’s version that he found Susan’s body hanging from the bathroom door of the hotel room at the Spier Wine Estate on July 24, 2016.
Interesting, because Coetzee-Khan [below] is also not a fan of Perumal’s work:
He ripped into Perumal’s report at the time, saying some sections were “deliberately misleading”, incomplete, alleged, unattributed, vague or left open to interpretation.
Coetzee-Khan found injuries to suggest that she had been punched in the face, her neck squeezed with a hand, a hand or object placed over her nose and mouth, her chest or ribs kicked, punched or kneed, and the back of her head pushed against a surface.
There were signs of a physical altercation before strangulation which lasted more than a few minutes, and could have lasted up to an hour, he said at the time.
Almost like they’re coming at the investigation from different perspectives or something.
Perumal’s testimony will continue later this morning, and you can bet the State is going to be trying their best to make him sweat.
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