In a collaborative effort, the Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Margaret Mary Health brought an internationally-recognized forensic expert on strangulation and gunshot wounds, William Smock, M.D., to train area medical professionals, prosecutors, law enforcement and advocates, according to Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel.
Recently, nearly 50 allied professionals gathered at the Big Four Café to learn from Smock. Over the last 30 years, he has trained nurses, doctors, law enforcement officers and prosecutors all over the world in multiple fields, including officer-involved shootings, strangulation, gunshot wounds and motor vehicle trauma.
Smock is from southern Indiana and works as the police surgeon and Louisville Metro Police Department Clinical Forensic Medicine Program director. Additionally, he is a University of Louisville clinical professor of emergency medicine and Institute on Strangulation Prevention’s National Medical Advisory Committee chair.
The first half of the multidisciplinary training focused on enhancing the ability to detect, document and ultimately prevent strangulation injuries, the most lethal indicator of domestic violence and sexual assault and the strongest predictor for a subsequent domestic violence homicide.
Smock made clear that in many instances there are no marks or external injuries after a victim has been strangled. He provided many other factors an officer and/or medical professional can look for when assisting a potential strangulation victim when there is a lack of external injury. Further, he explained that even slight pressure to a person’s neck can result in significant internal injury and even death, and he stressed the importance that professionals be extremely diligent when searching for these injuries.
During the second half of the training, the expert focused on identifying and using forensic analysis to treat and review gunshot wounds. He emphasized that a forensic analysis of this information can assist an investigation in a multitude of ways, including a bullet’s trajectory and how the bullet exited and/or entered a person’s body.
Posted on September 23, 2019 at 10:27 am