Physician testifies in murder trial: No prior indication 94-year-old was abused
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent October 10, 2013 6:14PM
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:35AM
The physician who treated a 94-year-old woman whose death was ruled a homicide testified he never noticed any indication of physical abuse in the times her son would bring her for office visits.
Dr. William Forgey’s testimony came during the fourth day of the trial of George Knezevic, 62, who is charged with murder, battery and neglect of a dependent in the death of his mother, Ljubica “Violet” Knezevic.
Forgey, who testified for the defense, said he treated for Ljubica Knezevic for recurring urinary tract infections, hypertension, coronary artery disease and other issues and was her attending physician after she was brought to the hospital on Oct. 13, 2010.
Witnesses said they saw George Knezevic strike her in the face with a boot and his hand, pull her hair, choke her, spray her with a water hose and throw her up against the outside of the family home at 4774 Buchanan St., Calumet Township, before shoving her inside the home. She had severe blunt force trauma injuries to her face, five fractured ribs, internal lung damage and bruises on her arms.
Questioned by defense attorney Scott King, Forgey said the dark bruising around her neck could be either from a direct injury to her neck or pooling of blood from gravity. Forgey said Ljubica Knezevic’s injuries would be consistent with a fall. Sometimes individuals hurt themselves worse trying to get up after falling, he said.
Dr. John Cavanaugh, a forensic pathologist with the Lake County coroner’s office who conducted an autopsy on Ljubica Knezevic, said the injuries taken altogether could not have occurred from a single fall.
Cavanaugh determined the cause of death was complications of multiple blunt force injuries that prompted a heart attack.