Defense Rests in Mohamud Trial Without Calling a Witness

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:57 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:57 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - The prosecution and defense both rest their cases in the trial of a stepfather accused in the brutal murder of his 10-year-old stepson.

The prosecution went through nearly ten witnesses in just three days. Evidence included a crime scene video, testimony from a medical examiner and a confession ... all pointing to Ali Mohamad Mohamud in the beating death of his stepson, Abdifatah Mohamad.

Mohamud is charged with second degree murder.

Wednesday, the defense rested without calling a single witness.

Legal experts say the last two witnesses drove it home for the jury.

Barry Covert explains "Between the videotape and the autopsy report and the medical examiner testimony -- that's just overwhelming."

Erie County's Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Diane Vertes, listed every injury Abdifatah suffered.

From the beating alone, Vertes said Abdi sustained 25 injuries to his arms and hands, 20 to his thighs and legs, eight to his torso and 11 to his head.

The medical examiner said there were numerous internal injuries as well. Abdifatah's head disconnected from his spinal chord, his heart was damaged and there was tearing in his lungs.

In addition, Vertes also found evidence Abdi choked on his vomit, was strangled, submerged in water and stabbed in the left arm.

Earlier in the day, Michelle Lillie took the stand to testify about DNA evidence.

Lillie, a forensic biologist, said dried blood on a rolling pin and a knife matched Abdifatah's DNA.

Defense attorney's did not cross-examine Lillie, nor did they put anyone on the stand.

Legal experts say putting Mohamud on the stand one day after his confession was read is just too risky.

Covert explains "In this case the defense attorney already decided his explanation that he gave to police could not be assisted by him on the stand, and it would be dangerous to put him on the stand."

Defense attorneys had planned to argue Extreme Emotional Disturbance in their closing arguments, and give the jury the option of finding Mohamud guilty of first degree manslaughter rather than second degree murder.

However, with no notification before the trial began, Judge Christopher Burns rules against a psych-related defense.

Closing arguments begin at 9:30 Thursday morning.

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