Testimony To Be Allowed In Lafler Trial
By: Mike Stiles -
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
(photo courtesy of St. Joseph County)
(CENTREVILLE) – No date has been set for the trial of Michael Lafler.
However, testimony from a forensic pathologist will be allowed once the trial gets underway.
St. Joseph County Circuit Court officials say that last week Judge Paul Stutesman ruled following a hearing that the testimony of Dr. Amanda Fisher-Hubbard will be allowed during Lafler’s trial.
The 36 year old Lafler is charged with open murder in the October 15, 2021 death of his girlfriend, 33 year old Chelsea Wallen. Police were called to Wallen’s home on Abbott Street in Colon, where they found her unresponsive.
Lafler told police that he and Wallen had been arguing and after being slapped by Wallen, hewent upstairs. When he came back downstairs later, Wallen was unresponsive. Lafler says he tried to resuscitate her but was not able to. Lafler says Wallen died from a heart attack because they both had used cocaine.
An autopsy determined that Wallen died from asphyxia/strangulation. She had injuries on her face, right eye, neck and arm, along with bruising and bite marks.
During last week’s hearing, Fisher-Hubbard was questioned about Wallen’s death, and if it could have been drug related and not from strangulation. Fisher-Hubbard says Wallen’s blood alcohol level was .135 at the time of her death. There were also traces of drugs other than cocaine in her system and those other drugs can slow a person’s breathing.
Fisher-Hubbard says she is certain that strangulation or suffocation was the cause of Wallen’s death.
Lafler remains held in the St. Joseph County Jail on a $1 million bond.
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