Cardeilhac Jury Watches Strangulation Video, Learns About Choke Holds
Dr. Schilke said he found hemorrhaging in Bakers face and eyes, which indicate a restriction of blood flow to the head. He said an examination of Baker’s brain tissue showed swelling, meaning the brain suffered from a lack of oxygen. Dr. Schilke also testified there was hemorrhaging in Baker’s neck.
During cross examination, Cardeilhac’s defense team asked Dr. Schilke about certain types of choke holds, and how they can restrict either air or blood passage ways. Defense asked particularly about lateral vascular neck restraints, also known as the “sleeper hold.” Dr. Schilke noted that this is typically the type of hold taught to law enforcement as it us a “safer” type of choke hold.
Sheriff Mark Overman also testified about choke holds, noting in his 35 years in law enforcement he has learned two typed of defensive tactics: bar arm, and the lateral vascular neck restraint. Sheriff Overman noted the difference between the two is the bar arm positions the attacker’s forearm across the victim’s airways. “You’ll kill people doing that,” Overman said. “So we don’t use that one anymore.”
The lateral vascular neck restraint involved a different positioning around the victims neck, so it restrains the blood flow from the corroded artery. Overman stated the crook of the attackers elbow is usually in front of the airway, protecting airflow.
Dr. Schilke’s testimony indicated that since Amanda Baker’s hyoid bone in her neck was still in tact, it was likely Cardeilhac used something similar to the lateral vascular neck restraint to block her blood flow, rather than the bar arm to block her airway.
Sheriff Overman noted that law enforcement officers rarely use the lateral vascular neck restraint, because it is so dangerous. Although he said they are usually trained to release the hold as soon as the victim loses consciousness, which usually occurs in a matter of seconds.
Following Dr. Schilke’s testimony, jurors were presented with the rest of the video evidence.
Two of Amanda Baker’s family members left the courtroom before the videos were shown. A series of three videos, Exhibit 70, 70, 71, and 72, show the time frame between 1:50 a.m. and 2:14 a.m. on February 14.
Jurors watched the videos out of order. They first viewed the angle from the day room pointed into the hallway between the cells.
They could see Amanda Baker enter the hallway to perform the routine “bed checks.”
Baker exits the top of the screen, where it is understood she entered Cardilhac’s cell. Shortly after, Cardeilhac is seen crawling down the hallway to another cell. He unlocks that cell, enters it, then crosses the hall to another cell. He returns to the first cell. A few minutes later Baker’s supervisor Mark Botzki is seen entering the hallway. Minutes pass and more staff enter the camera shot.
Another video is shown to jurors from the cell across the hall. Jurors see Cardeilhac crawl to the door, opening, and enter the room. He wakes up another inmate who follows him to the door. It appears Cardeilhac is trying to convince the inmate to exit the cell into the hallway, but the inmate goes back to bed. Cardelhac leaves the cell.
The final video shown to jurors is the recording of the attack. Cardeilhac can be seen sitting in his bed. Shortly after, Baker enters the cell, and Cardeilhac can be seen motioning to the floor at the end of his bunk. He then gets on his hands and knees, presumable to show Baker something. He then gets up, and she gets on her hands and knees. As she is facing the ground, Cardeilhac stands behind Baker and rolls up his sweatshirt sleeved. As she appears to be getting up, Cardeilhac jumps on Baker’s back and craps his arms around her neck. The two fall to the ground, as Cardeilhac straddles on top of Baker as she is face down.
Sheriff Overman’s testimony stated Cardeilhac was on top of baker for approximately 2 and a half minutes. He noted that her body appears to go limp within a minute and a half of Cardeilhac being on top of her.
Following the 2 minute, 30 second attack, Cardeilhac gets off of Baker’s back, finds her keys, and leaves his cell.
CPR is administered to Baker roughly 16 minutes after Cardeilhac leaves the cell.