WOBURN -- The 15-year-old who was fatally stabbed in the boys’ bathroom of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School three years ago suffered slash wounds to his chin, throat, and arms, a former medical examiner testified today in the first-degree murder trial of John Odgren.
James F. Alenson, a freshman at the school, “had a number of sharp force injuries to his body, and a smaller number of blunt force injuries,” Dr. Richard Evans, a former state medical examiner, said in Middlesex Superior Court.
But it was three particularly deep wounds -- puncturing his liver, lung, and heart -- that likely killed Alenson, Evans said.
He was the final witness called by Middlesex County prosecutors in the trial. This afternoon, defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro is expected to start calling witnesses as he tries to convince the jury Odgren is not guilty by reason of insanity.
The medical examiner spoke on the fifth day of testimony about a killing that still haunts a close-knit community in the suburbs west of Boston.
Odgren, now 19, could face life in prison for murdering his classmate, Alenson, whom he did not know, in a school bathroom less than an hour before classes started on Jan. 19, 2007.
Shapiro contends that Odgren suffers from multiple mental disorders including Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Odgren was living out a fantasy story of violence that he had read in thriller novels and seen in video games, and he had lost touch with reality when the stabbing occurred, according to his lawyer.
Earlier this week, students, school officials and police testified that Odgren was obsessed with guns and violence, that he spoke of committing “the perfect murder,” a stabbing, and that he started to grow stranger in the weeks and days leading up to the killing.
But Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett has told jurors Odgren was fully aware of what he had done, and that he had built up a drive to kill.
Earlier today, the jury for the first time got to see inside the Sudbury high school as it was on the day when the stabbing occurred.
Referring to 28 photographs of the crime scene and other evidence collected, State Police criminalist Sherri Menendez described the sometimes gruesome findings from the bathroom, and from Alenson's and Odgren's clothing.
Menendez said blood was found on Odgren's fedora, his trench coat, and his hands.
The forensic expert also gave a detailed description of the knife Odgren used against the slightly-built Alenson. Menendez said the knife was 12 1/2 inches long, with a blade that was 7¾ inches long and 1 inch wide. She said the point of the knife was broken off when it was recovered inside the bathroom.
She also said Alenson's clothing was soaked with blood and that there were six cuts on Alenson's shirt.
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