Vega Trial: Defense, Prosecution Rest Cases

Both the defense and prosecution rested their cases Wednesday in the Gabriel Vega murder trial.

Wednesday's testimony was hard to hear for family members of Vanessa Milligan because the Rensselaer County medical examiner was called to the stand.

Michael Sikirica testified that he performed an autopsy on the body of Vanessa Milligan on April 5, 2014, two days after she was found dead. Sikirica said 80 to 90 percent of her body was severely burned but that she had no "soot" material in her lungs, saying she died before the fire started at her home.

Sikirica also testified that Milligan's cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation, and that the 35-week-old female baby she was carrying died from a lack of oxygen shortly after her mother. Sikirica, though, admitted to the defense he couldn't say how she was strangled.

A DNA box was entered into evidence today after a short debate between the prosecution and defense, as a New York State police scientist from the crime lab took the stand, saying after comparing three DNA samples -- one from Vega, Milligan and her unborn baby -- there is a more than 99.99 percent chance the father of Milligan's baby is Vega.

Closing arguments are set for Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

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