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Medical Expert: Brain Injury Didn't Cause Love's Death

Dr. Ronald Uscinski testified for the defense that he suspects Love died as a result of oxygen deprivation.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—A medical expert for George Huguely's defense testified on Saturday that Yeardley Love, a Cockeysville native, didn't die from blunt force trauma, as reported by the medical examiner.

Huguely, 24, is standing trial for the May 2010 murder of Love, his ex-girlfriend. Medical experts for the prosection previously stated that contusions to Love's brain were caused by "sheer force" and could have resulted in "respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, loss of conciousness and sudden death." Prosecutors have accused Huguely of shaking her so hard that she banged her head against a wall.

Dr. Ronald Uscinski, who has worked as a neurosurgeon since 1968, said that autopsy photos showed that Love's skull appeared to be intact and her brain looked "normal," indicating that the former Notre Dame Preparatory School student didn't suffer a fatal brain injury. He did, however, state that a slight indentation in the left lobe of her brain was an inconsequential abnormality.

"The findings don't appear to be consistent with blunt force trauma," Uscinski said.

He added that trauma, which requires massive impact, results in the disruption of living tissues, which in turn causes bleeding. Uscinski said there was no bleeding in Love's brain.

Uscinski theorized that oxygen deprivation ultimately cost Love her life. She was found lying face-down in a pool of her own blood.

The prosecution attempted to undermine Uscinski by alleging that he's only testifying for financial profit. Uscinski stated that he charged a retainer fee of about $2,000 to $2,500, and charges about $750 an hour.

"It's not something I do for the money," he said.

Earlier in the day, Prosecutor Dave Chapman attempted to bar Uscinski from testimony because of inappropriate emails passed between him, a defense co-counsel and other medical witnesses.

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