CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Vincent DeSario was hit on the head with such force that the blow fractured his skull.
“It was a depressed fracture,” Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Siebert Jr. testified Tuesday, the second day of the trial of Alberto Martinez, the Wildwood man charged with murdering DeSario. “The bone was pushed into the skull or into the brain.”
DeSario died May 24, 2010, 14 days after a stranger approached him with a baseball bat on a Wildwood street.
The man, witnesses said, swung the bat on May 10, 2010, as if he were trying to hit a home run. The blow sent DeSario falling to the ground and he never regained consciousness.
He died at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City on May 24, and the next day Siebert performed the autopsy.
During questioning by First Assistant Prosecutor Rob Johnson, Siebert said the 19-year-old Edison man suffered significant hemorrhaging or bleeding in the scalp and outer surface of the skull.
The skull fracture, he said, measured about 4 inches by 2 inches, and the result was a bruising to the brain surface itself.
DeSario’s parents and other family members and friends listened in court Tuesday as Siebert testified.
Siebert said the injuries were the result of “a significant amount of force” consistent with being struck in the head.
“They’re associated with some type of blunt object,” he said. “It takes a significant amount of force to fracture the skull.”
Witnesses testified Monday that DeSario was hit as he and two friends walked along Oak Avenue toward the Wildwood Boardwalk.
The suspect, whom witnesses identified as Martinez, grabbed the bat from his bicycle after the three visiting college students began to laugh.
He asked, “Are you laughing at me,” and then struck DeSario with the bat, witnesses have said.
Wildwood Detective Sgt. Kenneth Gallagher also testified Tuesday that he arrived at the scene to see DeSario “laying flat face down on the ground.”
Gallagher said Martinez was stopped a short time later about three blocks away at New Jersey and Schellenger avenues and that each of three witnesses identified Martinez as DeSario’s assailant.
Gallagher said Martinez was cooperative and never asked why he had been stopped.
‘He believed that they were laughing at him,” Gallagher said Martinez told him. “It ticked him off.”
Gallagher said Martinez, who told police at the time that he lived on Rio Grande Avenue, admitted to having a bat and to disposing of it in a trash container at the nearby Wawa convenience store.
But Gallagher said that after taking Martinez back to the Wawa, there was no trash container and no bat.
He said Martinez also said the bat could have fallen off his bicycle, but other officers searched for the bat and it was never found.
The trial, being heard before Superior Court Judge Patricia Wild, will resume today as the prosecution continues its case.
Defense attorney Stephen Patrick is not expected to begin presenting his case until June, when an expert witness is available. Patrick said during his opening Monday that his client is a paranoid schizophrenic and that the expert, a psychiatrist, will testify that he is insane.
Contact Trudi Gilfillian: