Cause of death in murder trial can't be determined

A FORENSIC pathologist has testified she found bruising on Michael Manson's head consistent with being punched or kicked.

But Dr Kathy Uranker told Brisbane Supreme Court there were many decompositional changes to the 48-year-old's body, which was left in the back of his ute near Atkinsons Dam for two days, and she could not properly determine a cause of death.

Kilcoy man Jamie Rex Teichmann has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Manson on a Coominya roadside in the early hours of December 9, 2010, in a dispute over a woman.

"My findings were that this man sustained blunt force trauma to the head as evidenced by the bruising … over the left frontal region," Ms Uranker said.

"He sustained a modest-sized subdural haemorrhage which potentially could have rendered him unconscious, could have led to death.

"But I'm unable to actually confirm that because I can't show any secondary changes or any findings to confirm that.

"I can say it potentially rendered him unconscious, put him at risk of obstruction of the airways, put him at risk of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation).

"Both of those complications could explain his death but I can't prove it because of the decompositional changes and limitations of the autopsy process."

Ms Uranker said the force of the blows to cause the bruising was "moderate", the type that could be caused by "kicks to the head or blows to the head from a punch".

She said the injuries also could be caused when someone fell and hit their head.

Ms Uranker said Mr Manson was found lying awkwardly on top of the ladder in the back of his utility, with pressure on his abdomen area.

But she said his positioning did not obstruct his airways or compress his neck in a way that would affect his breathing.

Ms Uranker said fluid in the chest cavity recorded a 0.081% BAC but bacteria could have caused the reading which was not reliable.

Louise Candy told the court she was with Teichmann after Mr Manson's body was found.She said there was a flurry of phone calls, many Teichmann made from her phone after mentioning "bugs".

Ms Candy, speaking via video-link, said Teichmann told her he had been in a scuffle with the man and that he was now dead.

There will be one more Crown witness on Monday before the Teichmann's defence lawyers begin their case.

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