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Nils Abramson, who was von Schwedler’s boyfriend at the time of her death, discovered her body.
Photos presented on the first day of testimony Tuesday showed von Schwedler’s body as it was the day Abramson found her, Sept. 27, 2011.
The tub, he testified Tuesday, was full of ice cold water. The faucet was running. A scrapbook with photos of her youngest daughter floated near her feet. Beneath her body, there was a knife.
In the months after von Schwedler’s death, police struggled to determine whether she was the victim of suicide or murder.
Although the wounds to her body didn’t appear to be self-inflicted and there were signs of a bloody struggle in the home, there were no signs of forced entry and von Schwedler had a toxic amount of Xanax in her system.
"The problem with homicide is, how did she get Xanax in her system?" Christensen asked. "I don’t have a good answer for that."
Abramson, who is a social worker by trade, testified that von Schwedler did not display any signs of suicide or depression prior to her death. She was not on any medication — aside from something to treat her seasonal asthma — and was never prescribed Xanax, according to court documents.
In making his ruling Thursday, the judge pointed out that the only person involved in this case who had documented access to Xanax was the defendant, who had written his mother a prescription for the drug several months before von Schwedler’s death.
"The defendant admitted the prescription never got to his mother," the judge said. "It also seems unusual that the defendant couldn’t categorically and unequivocally tell police, friends and neighbors that he didn’t kill his ex-wife."
The autopsy of von Schwedler’s body revealed several injuries, including bruising to her lips, scrapes to her right cheek, cuts and puncture wounds, several of which Christensen said he had "never seen anything like this in a suicide."
The woman’s internal neck muscles also were injured in a way that prosecutors argued may have been the result of someone holding von Schwelder down as they force-fed her the drugs.
Throughout the house, bloody footprints seemed to have been wiped away, and could only be seen using technology that detects trace proteins, testified lead detective Cordon Parks. A blood stain on von Schwedler’s bed was covered by a pillow and her bloody tank top was folded up so the stain was not visible.
"Somebody lowered the blinds, turned off the light and cleaned up the blood on the floor," Parks said Wednesday. "There was clean-up of the crime scene, even after the blood was dropped."
Expert analysis of the crime scene also revealed Wall’s DNA in the home, which he did not share with his ex-wife.
But Metos has pointed out the kind of DNA found could have also belonged to either of von Schwedler’s sons. The expert agreed.
"It’s not a full profile," Metos said Thursday. "It’s a possible match."
In the aftermath of von Schwedler’s death, Wall was seen with scratch marks to his left eye, forearms and ankle.
Prosecutors claim the marks were from von Schwedler fighting back as Wall killed her. But Wall has said he suffered red marks from working in his rose garden and being scratched by his black Labrador, Molly.
As Metos asked the judge to dismiss the case Thursday, one of von Schwedler’s sisters sat in the back row of the courtroom gallery. She was knitting.
Wall’s sister, who was present each day of this week’s hearing, sat behind her brother, her pen moving furiously across paper.
The couple’s 19-year-old son, Pelle Wall, who has made national headlines for his unwavering support of his mother and insistence that his father killed her, did not return after the first day of testimony.Next Page >
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