Michael G. Ochoa suffered a stroke after he was stabbed in 2018, a medical examiner testified Thursday.
Dr. Richard Harruff, King County chief medical examiner, told a Yakima County Superior Court jury that when Ochoa, 55, was stabbed, the knife cut part of one of the two arteries supplying blood to the brain. The blood loss caused a stroke that killed part of Ochoa’s brain, Harruff said.
Harruff was one of two witnesses who testified in the murder trial of Anthony Gregory Mallory, 21, who is accused of stabbing Ochoa in the neck outside a house in the 1100 block of MacLaren Street Aug. 21, 2018.
Ochoa was taken first to Astria Regional Medical Center before being transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died three days later.
Harruff said Ochoa died from the 1-inch-long, 2-inch-deep stab wound on his neck, and the manner of his death was a homicide. Tests on blood samples taken at Astria when Ochoa was first admitted showed no alcohol nor drugs in Ochoa’s system, Harruff said.
Ochoa, Harruff said, did not have any wounds that indicated he tried to fight back or ward off the attack.
On cross-examination by Mallory’s attorney, Harruff said his office takes a neutral position on the manner of death, refusing to get into whether it was the result of an act of self-defense. That, he said, was a question best left to the jury.
Mallory’s attorney, Kenneth Therrien, told jurors in opening statements that Mallory stabbed Ochoa, 55, in self-defense after he said Ochoa had threatened him. Mallory’s mother testified Monday that her son said Ochoa had threatened to “end” Mallory.
But prosecutors say Mallory attacked Ochoa without provocation, with one witness saying Ochoa was writing his phone number on business cards when he was attacked, and almost immediately collapsed.
Ochoa was in the neighborhood trying to locate a trailer he had loaned to a family that was being evicted, according to witnesses and court documents.
The three-week long trial, which began April 19, is the second for Mallory, who is charged with second-degree murder. The first trial ended March 9 when Judge Gayle Harthcock declared a mistrial after finding that a juror had gone to the crime scene and reported his or her observations to the jury during deliberations.
Jurors are ordered to not do their own investigations and to only use evidence presented in court in their deliberations.