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Doctor testifies about girl’s autopsy

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — The Ellenwood teenager accused of shooting to death his girlfriend didn’t appear to look at her autopsy photos during a medical examiner’s testimony Wednesday.

Kevin Kosturi, 17, sat with his head down and later seemed to be taking notes during the testimony of the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Angel Hope Freeman. Dr. Lora Darrisaw, deputy chief medical examiner for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, testified Wednesday that Freeman died from a single gunshot to her chest fired about a foot away.

Earlier testimony showed that Kosturi first blamed the shooting on a Hispanic male firing a rifle from the woods but later allegedly confessed to killing Freeman. Friends of the couple said they frequently argued and Kosturi often threatened to kill Freeman.

Darrisaw identified several photos taken of Freeman’s body after it arrived at the Crime Lab. The 16-year-old was wearing brown boots, blue jeans and a white tank top stained in blood. Her hair was pulled up into a ponytail. Freeman relatives and friends remained mostly composed during the showing of the photos. Kosturi didn’t appear to look at them.

Darrisaw testified that Freeman was shot an inch and a quarter to the left of the midline of her body, just under the left side of her neck. The bullet exited out her back, about 2 and a half inches to the left of her midline, said Darrisaw. The wound had stippling and abrasions around it, indicating to Darrisaw the bullet was fired less than a foot from Freeman’s chest.

When Clayton County Assistant District Attorney Michael Thurmond asked Darrisaw if the trajectory was consistent with Freeman being on her knees and being fired upon from someone standing over her, Kosturi appeared to be upset and began scribbling notes.

Kosturi was a month from his 16th birthday when he was arrested for Freeman’s death. He is being tried as an adult.

Police also arrested Kosturi’s neighbor, Robert Allen Bethune, 23, for allegedly giving the teenager the handgun used to kill Freeman. Bethune is charged with theft by taking, furnishing a weapon to a person under 18 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Kosturi allegedly asked Bethune for a weapon to protect himself from another teenager.

Kosturi and Freeman apparently argued the day she died and when he pulled out the gun, Freeman reportedly told him, “You won’t shoot me,” said police.