PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –The trial of a Pitt researcher accused of killing his wife with cyanide resumed Monday morning.
Prosecutors wheeled a safe into the courtroom, which they found when they searched Dr. Robert Ferrante’s office.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Police Zone 3 Substation Coming To South Side Near East Carson Street
Inside, they found a computer, small amounts of United States and foreign currency and other personal items.
The results of computer searches will be part of the testimony later this morning.
Detectives also testified that they found cyanide in another section of the office, some of which had been there for a long time and was leaking.
HAZMAT crews handled it because, in the words of Pittsburgh detective Robert Provident, “I didn’t want to be near it.”
The defense says the cyanide was in the office for research purposes.
Det. James McGee testified about his conversation with Ferrante shortly after police learned the medical examiner ruled his wife died of cyanide poisoning.
“I asked, ‘Do you know how she died?’ He replied, ‘It was either a brain condition or a heart problem.’ But, when I told him we learned she died of cyanide poisoning, he put his hands to his face and said, ‘Why would she do this to herself?’ And then said, ‘Who would have done this to her?” McGee said.
On the night she collapsed, Ferrante told McGee that Dr. Autumn Klein walked home from work, kissed him on the cheek, told him she didn’t feel well and collapsed on the floor.READ MORE: Parents And Coaches Looking To Save Baseball Field At Prospect Park
When asked if she had ever appeared to be suicidal, Ferrante said no, but did recall a time where she told him she was glad they lived in Pittsburgh because there were so many bridges. Ferrante said he thought she said that only because she was frustrated about her inability to get pregnant.
Klein apparently tried a number of fertility drugs, some of which may not have been prescribed, and many of which were imported from Canada, according to testimony today. The defense contends she injected herself with a number of the treatments.
Det. McGee testified Ferrante told him Klein stopped using the fertility drugs in a January of 2013, three months before she died.
McGee said Ferrante told him he put his wife on a regimen of a drug called creatine to enhance her fertility and since it had a bad taste, he would put it in a sugary drink.
On Friday, an emergency room doctor, who treated Klein, testified that when he learned after her death that high levels of cyanide were found in her blood, he immediately notified CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, fearing that her donated organs might endanger organ recipients.
Dr. Thomas Martin testified that he and others tried to resuscitate Klein for hours, with no success and without knowing why she was near death.
Martin testified that doctors performed CAT scans and other tests to determine what was wrong. Brain scans proved negative and they found no evidence of a heart attack.
Klein died two days later. The report of elevated cyanide levels wasn’t available until after her death, and by then her body had already been cremated.
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