A medical examiner has testified that Cindy Lynn Ray's abdomen probably was torn open by hand after an initial incision was made through which her nearly full-term baby was removed from her body.
Dr. Ross Zumwalt of the Office of the Medical Investigator also testified Tuesday that Ray was alive but unconscious when her abdomen was cut open with a car key.Zumwalt was testifying in the trial of Darci Pierce, who is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse in the July 23, 1987, death of Ray, 23, a former Payson, Utah, resident.
Ray was abducted from the parking lot of a Kirtland Air Force Base health clinic and driven to the Manzano Mountains east of Albuquerque, where the baby was cut from her body. The baby girl survived.
Pierce, 20, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, which means her attorneys aren't denying the allegations but contend Pierce was not sane at the time.
The prosecution rested its case early Monday, and the defense began its presentation.
Pierce's adoptive mother, Sandra Ricker, took the stand and said her daughter did not like her and was ashamed of her because she was fat.
"Darci and I had a lot of conflict," Ricker said. "Darci did not like fat people and I was always a fat person ugly.
"In my opinion, I did not suit her as to what she thought I should be," Ricker said.
She also said Pierce hated her brother's fiance because she was pregnant and wanted to put the baby up for adoption.
"Darci hated Mary Ann (her brother's fiance). To her you give cats and dogs away, you do not give babies away."
Ricker, who lives in Oregon, also testified that Pierce lied a lot as a child.
"To some people she would make them think that she was mistreated because she lived with a fat, ugly mother," she said. "She was always ashamed of our house. I think she liked to tell people that she lived in a better house."
Other family members testified that Pierce looked pregnant in 1986 before she and her husband, Ray, moved to Albuquerque.
Both women's husbands were stationed at Kirtland.
Prosecutors said Darci Pierce had faked her pregnancy and desperately needed a baby because she had told her husband labor was going to be induced the day Ray was killed.
Ray Pierce testified last week he fully believed his wife was pregnant.
Also testifying Monday was Susan Brayfield-Cave, a clinical psychologist who worked with Darci Pierce shortly after she was arrested.
Brayfield-Cave said Darci Pierce is "not a person with a major mental illness" but shows signs of having a mental disorder.Comment on this story
The psychologist said that after administering a battery of tests to Darci Pierce she concluded "there were some oddities in her behavior and past history that were very unusual . . . . They don't fall into mental illness. They fall into another realm."
Darci Pierce experienced times when she believed she could hear a baby cry. She also believed she was changing the diapers of an imaginative baby, Brayfield-Cave said.
Brayfield-Cave also testified that she disagreed with the findings of another psychologist who said Darci Pierce exhibited signs of an anti-social personality.