Former medical examiner testifies in Margate man's penis defense murder trial
Defense rests after testimony from Dr. Ronald Wright; penis not shown to jury
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A former medical examiner testified Friday in the murder trial of a South Florida man accused of killing his girlfriend, but the defense rested without the jury seeing the defendant's penis.
Richard Patterson, 65, of Margate, elected not to testify in his second-degree murder trial. Patterson is charged in the choking death of his girlfriend, Francisca Marquinez, 60, in 2015.
Defense attorney Ken Padowitz argued in court that his client accidentally choked Marquinez during oral sex.
Before the trial began, Padowitz argued that it was relevant and necessary to show Patterson's penis to the jury. It never happened.
Padowitz rested before Broward County Judge Lisa Porter made a decision about viewing the penis.
Dr. Ronald Wright, a former Broward County medical examiner, was called as an expert witness for the defense, providing testimony that Padowitz hoped would bolster his argument. Wright said it was possible that Marquinez was choked during oral sex.
"Under ordinary circumstances, she would object to being strangled," Wright testified.
But Wright had trouble explaining during cross-examination whether he first raised the possibility or if the idea came from the defense.
"I can't remember," Wright testified. "It very well could have been mine. I've had other cases like that."
The prosecution argued that Patterson choked Marquinez and waited several days before calling an ex-girlfriend to tell her what happened.
Padowitz asked Porter to acquit Patterson, citing a lack of evidence.
"So, let's say, hypothetically, your client had his erect penis deeply in the throat and didn't remove it," Porter said. "His penis is a weapon at that point, and he's got to know that he's choking her."
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday.
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