WOBURN — Allison Myrick was alive and in “significant” pain as her former boyfriend, Robert Gulla, repeatedly beat, stabbed and shot her between the eyes with a pellet gun before she finally died on the basement floor of Gulla’s Shirley home two years ago, state Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry Nields testified Friday.
During Nields’ testimony in Middlesex Superior Court, the jury was shown graphic autopsy photos and diagrams of the injuries the 19-year-old sustained on Jan. 23, 2010.
Nields testified the injuries suffered by Myrick, of Groton, included stab wounds to the head, neck and torso; a cut throat; and blunt-impact trauma to the head, neck and torso consistent with being hit by a closed fist. She was also shot point-blank between the eyes with a pellet gun.
Two bloody knives — a buck knife and a larger butcher knife — were found at the scene, as were a pellet pistol and a pellet rifle.
What may have been the final insult to her body, prosecutor Lisa McGovern alleges, is that Gulla extinguished his lit cigarette on Myrick’s flesh.
Nields testified that blood found in Myrick’s airway indicates she was “still breathing at the time of the assault.”
There were defensive wounds to Myrick’s hands and arms indicating she tried to protect herself, he testified.
While several of the deep wounds to her abdomen were enough to eventually kill her, Nields said, Myrick did not die immediately.
The Myrick family wiped away tears as they viewed what the judge called “disturbing” crime-scene and autopsy photos. Gulla’s reaction was the same as it has been throughout the two-week trial — flat. He looked straight ahead without showing a flicker of emotion.
Gulla, 21, formerly of 4 Morin St., Shirley, is on trial charged with first-degree murder and violation of a restraining order. If convicted he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
McGovern alleges that Myrick was tortured by Gulla during a fit of jealous rage after he found proof on her cellphone that she had been dating another student at Fitchburg State University, where she studied graphic design.
Gulla, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, tried to commit suicide after allegedly killing Myrick. He used a knife to slice his wrist, McGovern said. DNA results indicate Gulla used a pellet rifle to try to shoot himself in the head.
In a note to his family found at the crime scene, Gulla wrote on the back of an envelope, “I love you. This is the last thing I wanted to happen but it just did.”
Defense attorney John Galvin, who represents Gulla, says his client doesn’t deny killing Myrick, but indicated there were other factors, such as alcohol, involved. Galvin has suggested a mental-health defense.
A toxicology result indicates that Myrick had a blood-alcohol level of .12, which is over the legal limit of .08 of someone who is driving. There were no drugs in her system. Emergency personnel testified they smelled no alcohol on Gulla.
State Police Crime Lab Chemist Stephanie Waite testified she took blood samples from the rug, the walls and the ceiling of the Gulla basement. She sent seven DNA samples to the crime lab to be analyzed.
During his cross-examination, Galvin asked if Waite analyzed a water bottle that was on the coffee table in the basement. Galvin has suggested the bottle contained vodka. Waite said she didn’t see it.
Under Galvin’s questioning, Waite also testified she didn’t take samples of a number of spots that were saturated with blood and didn’t test the vomit near Myrick for drugs or alcohol.
Waite responded that she was aware both parties were cut and bleeding, so there was nothing “probative” about taking samples from every spot.
Kim Bonner, who specializes in forensic DNA analysis at the state crime lab, testified that tissue removed from Gulla’s jeans, DNA taken from the muzzle of the pellet pistol, as well as blood stains on the basement carpet, walls, couch and ceiling were a match to Myrick.
Gulla’s DNA was found inside the muzzle of the pellet rifle, Bonner testified.
The trial will resume on Tuesday.
Follow Lisa Redmond at twitter.com/lredmond13.