PALMER — The nurse who examined Lisa Donlon the day she shot her husband said her injuries were largely consistent with what she said happened to her in the days leading up to the shooting.
“There were some injuries that correlated with the report,” she said.
Some things in the report didn’t match up to injuries on Donlon, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, Jennifer Meyer testified.
“Every body is a little different,” she said. “You may or may not always see an injury.”
Donlon has been in trial for three weeks facing murder charges relating to the October 2010 shooting death of her husband. The consensus in the courtroom seems to be that her husband, Jason Donlon, was asleep in bed when his wife shot him.
Nobody denies Lisa Donlon pulled the trigger. Defense attorneys are arguing that their client acted in self-defense, that she was being held against her will, tortured and expected her husband would eventually kill her. Prosecutors point to instances when she could have fled, other options she had, and places where her story appears inconsistent.
Meyer said that among the injuries Lisa Donlon presented when she arrived for a Sexual Abuse Response Team exam in Anchorage were “pattern injuries.”
“Pattern injuries are injuries that mimic or mirror the shape of an object that would have been used to make those injuries,” Meyer testified.
There were, for instance, belt-shaped bruises on parts of her body where Donlon said she’d been beaten with a belt.
As for her demeanor, Meyer said there wasn’t a lot of emotion there.
“She was really pretty calm, quiet, flat affect, not a whole lot of interaction,” she said. “When I asked how she felt, she said, ‘numb.’ She was very cooperative, but quiet.”
She said that no emotional state is really typical for a rape victim. Some are quiet, some more emotive. Some, she said, even laugh and joke as a coping mechanism.
“Almost any response is usual,” she said.
As for parts of the report where there were no documented injuries, Meyer testified that she’d been told Donlon reported being poked with sewing needles but she found no pockmarks.
That, she said, isn’t uncommon. Whether or not such an activity would leave a mark depends greatly on how deep or hard the needle was pushed in.
District Attorney Roman Kalytiak seized on one particular injury that Meyer said she didn’t find — she didn’t find any marks on Donlon’s neck where she said she’d been choked to unconsciousness multiple times.
He brought out the rope that Jason Donlon had allegedly used to bind his wife’s hands and suspend them from the ceiling and also to choke her unconscious.
“I’d have to put a significant amount of pressure on that cord, right?” Kalytiak asked, before an objection from the defense table halted his line of questioning.
Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at email@example.com or 352-2270.