PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Testimony continued Friday in the trial of Dr. Robert Ferrante, who is accused in his wife’s cyanide poisoning death.
The prosecution introduced another email to the jury, this one from Ferrante to his wife Autumn Klein, dated April 16, 2013 – the day before she collapsed.
In it, Ferrante apparently tried to make amends for recent tensions, but perceived she was planning to attend a conference in Boston without him.
“You seemed to be in such a great mood up until last evening,” he wrote. “I am obviously missing something here. I’m sorry for that … it seems obvious to me now that you want to go to Boston alone. I won’t go if that will make you less stressed.”
The conference was planned for early May, and was to be hosted by Dr. Thomas McElrath, who collaborated with Klein on high-risk obstetrics research.
McElrath testified that he invited Klein to bring her husband if she chose to, and that they had attended a conference in San Francisco the previous February.
McElrath’s name was listed as one of the Google searches on Ferrante’s computer.
The last thing the jury saw before their weekend recess was the fingerprint of Robert Ferrante, which prosecutors say was found on the bottle of cyanide he ordered for his laboratory just two days before his wife collapsed.
On the stand Friday morning was Jennifer Janssen, The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s chief toxicologist, who testified that her office expected a more definitive test from NMS labs in suburban Philadelphia on Klein’s blood, but was never told that their analytical equipment was not working properly.
Forensic lab expert Marla Priestley from the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office testified that a fingerprint found on the cyanide bottle ordered by Robert Ferrante for his office is that of Ferrante.
On Wednesday, testimony centered on the blood tests conducted at the Quest Diagnostic lab in Chantilly, Virginia.
The original reading showed cyanide levels of 2.2 milligrams per liter, but was changed by a technician who reviewed it to 3.35 milligrams per liter.
Dr. Todd Luckasevic, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Autumn Klein testified Friday that his original autopsy report April 21, 2013, did not list a cause and manner of death pending toxicology reports and consultations.
But once he received the report from Quest Diagnostics indicating lethal levels of cyanide, and an examination of her brain, which was consistent with toxic ingestion of cyanide, he determined the cause of death as cyanide poisoning, and the manner of death as homicide.
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