A Forensic Pathologist has testified in the Lusaka High Court that Precious Mangesana died from a fatal neck gunshot wound within seconds of being shot at a 15 to 30-centimeter distance.
Dr Luchenga Mucheleng’anga, a state pathologist at Zambia Police, narrated that Precious, whose death was an act of homicide, was first shot in the left arm, then on the left side of the neck, before finally being shot in the left leg after she was already on the ground.
In this matter, a Lusaka businessman Nshinka Kaputo is charged with two counts of murdering his girlfriend, Precious Mangesana and acts intended to cause grievous harm.
Kaputo, 34, is alleged to have shot dead Mangesana, a MultiChoice employee, on October 5 last year.
When the matter came up for continuation of trial before Justice Catherine Phiri, Thursday, Dr Mucheleng’anga explained that there were no other injuries on Precious’ body apart from the three bullet wounds.
He narrated that Precious died from a gun shot wound within seconds of being shot.
“The cause of death for Precious was a fatal gunshot wound to the neck. This death occurred within seconds of the shooting. On external examination, Precious was quite pale and there was blood in the oditary canals of the ears and in the nose. The mouth was quite pale again because of the bleeding that occurred. The neck wasn’t straight, it was leaning towards one end. When I examined that neck I could hear fragments of bone cracking. The left arm was fractured,” he explained.
Dr Mucheleng’anga explained that the wounds showed skin burns because the gun was discharged at close range.
“Precious had three wounds. The wounds showed skin burns because of the near gunshots of about 15 to 30 centimeters. There were no other injuries on the body except for the bullet wounds. She was first shot in the left arm which was not fatal. Then shot in the left side of the neck, this one was fatal as it cut through the major blood vessel in the neck, penetrated the spinal cord and cut it off completely. And the last shot was in the left leg. The direct of travel for the shot suggests that Precious was already lying on the ground when she was shot for the last time.”
Asked why he concluded that the death was an act of homicide, Dr Mucheleng’anga explained that the pattern of the shooting showed that the injuries could not have been self inflicted.
“The pattern of the shooting is that of being inflicted by another person. It’s highly unlikely to be suicide because suicide victims shoot themselves in the mouth or the side of the head. I’m of the opinion that the death was an act of a homicide, a rifled weapon was used and the ammunition type was a bullet,” said Dr Mucheleng’anga.
The matter has been adjourned to June 19 for continued cross-examination.