GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The People V Cohee is coming to an end. Before the prosecution rested their case Friday, a forensic pathologist who completed the autopsy for Warren Barnes, shared his explosive testimony.
Dr. Daniel Lingamfelter said Barnes suffered a fractured skull and brain damage caused by blunt force trauma from an object like a rock or baseball bat while Barnes was still alive. Lingamfelter said Barnes was stabbed 26 times in the head; 3 of those times while Barnes was still alive, but Barnes was already dead when he was decapitated, dismembered, and mutilated.
The board-certified forensic pathologist says out of more than 8,000 autopsies he’s conducted, he only encountered a case this extreme less than 1% of his career.
The people rested their case after calling investigator Robert Heil to the stand to talk about Cohee’s cell activity.
Afterward, the defense called their first witness to testify, Mrs. Terri Cohee.
Mrs. Cohee suspected Brian Jr had mental disorders at a young age because he licked his shoes to clean them, and frequently chewed on his fingers and toes needing medical treatment. She said Brian was a happy child, never violent, and a joy to raise until 14 years old.
But, the prosecution painted a different picture of Brian Jr after their cross-examination. Mrs. Cohee told prosecutors Brian had territorial issues in elementary, inappropriate outbursts in middle school, and even hurt one or two students in high school.
Monday, the defense called Cohee’s family doctor to testify. Dr. Craig Gustafson started seeing Cohee Jr in 2017 when he was 15 years old for a general check-up. The doctor saw Cohee regularly nearly two dozen times over five years and started treating Cohee for depression in 2018 with a low dose of an anti-depressant that increased to nearly the maximum dose in December just months before the murder. Gustafson told prosecutors Cohee showed no sign of psychosis including hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and never talked about hurting himself, or others. The last time he saw Cohee he treated a boil in Cohee’s right armpit on February 24th, 2021. That was just three days before the murder.
The defense also called psychologist Dr. Katrina Katen to testify this afternoon who diagnosed Cohee with autism, ADHD, and major depressive disorder.
But, Katen told prosecutors Cohee has a mild form of autism and has no intellectual disability. She said she sent a letter of concern to Cohee’s mom for idolizing infamous people like Hitler, Stalin, and the columbine shooters. Cohee told Dr. Katen quote, “I want to be famous and it doesn’t matter for what.”