SALT LAKE CITY – In September 2011, Uta von Schwedler was found dead in her bathtub at her Sugarhouse home. The 49-year-old biologist had a high level of Xanax in her system.
On Monday, Medical Examiner Dr. Scott Denton testified in court that injuries von Schwedler's body appeared to be defensive and that a wound on her left wrist could have been an injection site for a needle.
"My concern with the Xanax levels is that she was injected with Xanax," Denton said.
In their cross examination, the defense questioned Denton's conclusions, asking him if he is basing his theories on opinions or facts.
"Yes, those are my opinions based on my experience and training, yes,” Denton said.
Another medical examiner said if Xanax was not present in this case, he would still classify von Schwedler's death as a homicide.
"If there was no Xanax in her system, I would've certified this a homicide," said Dr. Erik Christensen from the Utah State Medical Examiner Office.
Monday afternoon, von Schwedler’s former therapist testified that while she was treating Uta during her divorce, she never suspected she was seriously depressed or suicidal.
The trial is scheduled to last three more weeks. If convicted, the former pediatrician could spend the rest of his life in prison.