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Pathologist says accidental death can’t be ruled out in Cardwell trial

Pediatric Forensic Pathologist
Cardwell trial

News 11's Crystal Jimenez has details on the latest testimony in the trial

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - As the Cardwell Trial continues, a forensic pathologist who reviewed Celine Carreno's autopsy said an accidental death can't be ruled out.

Jared Cardwell faces murder charges in connection with Celine's death. He was the toddler's stepfather.

Dr. Evan Matshes is a pediatric forensic pathologist. Thursday he told the courtroom, when reviewing autopsies, a series of questions must be asked. He said in his line of work, doctors can't immediately determine abuse in a home.

When reviewing Celine's autopsy, he said, he had to ask himself could her subdural hemorrhage have been caused by a short fall on a playground or stairs?

Dr. Matshes said although it is rare for a child to pass away from a shortfall, it is still a possibility.

The doctor also claimed the burns on Celine's face could have been caused by stomach acid in vomit. Although this is also rare for it to happen.

News 11's Crystal Jimenez previews Thursday's testimony in the Jared Cardwell trial:

Dr. Matshes told jurors that if the burns found on Celine's face were from something like bleach, the hairs would have been discolored or slowly burned off over time. However, during the autopsy he said Celine's hairs were still intact.

Also on the witness stand Thursday, Victor Paredes, the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Firefighter-Paramedic first on the scene the day Celine passed away in May of 2015.

Paredes told the courtroom he responded to a call about an unconcious toddler, being Celine. When he got to the home he went upstairs where he found Celine and her mother, Beatriz Carreno.

Paredes said Beatriz was crying while Celine lay in front of her. He mentioned Beatriz wasn't performing CPR on Celine when he arrived. Upon cross examination it was determined that Beatriz was performing CPR prior to his arrival, where she told dispatch, it's not working.

Master Sergeant Victor Sandoval was Cardwell's former Non-Commissioned Officer, and took the stand as well Thursday.

He testified on Cardwell's demeanor the morning Celine was found dead. He said the morning started off normal, and Cardwell gave no inclination that there was an issue.

This goes against what Cardwell's former friend/co-worker, Kyler Preston, testified about at the beginning of the trial. Preston told the court in October that Cardwell "seemed off" the same morning Celine was found dead.

Related Story: Paramedic describes victim’s condition on second day of Cardwell trial

Master Sergeant Sandoval played a role in trying to get Cardwell legal representation after being arrested by military police.

The defense tried to argue that Cardwell didn't get a lawyer assigned to him right away, which could have been because it was a holiday weekend.

The trial is set to continue Friday where Crystal Jimenez will continue to bring you the latest.

Top Stories / Yuma County

Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez began at KYMA as a Digital Content Producer in June 2019, and is now a multimedia journalist for the morning show.

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