Expert forensic pathologist to testify at Agababa murder trial


Dr. Joseph Cohen had previously testified that the victim’s death should have been ruled as undetermined.

Guam – It appears that the defense for Allan Agababa has secured the testimony of their expert witness, a forensic pathologist from California, Dr. Joseph Cohen.

Cohen had testified during the last trial in opposition of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola’s findings of Agababa’s mother, Shelly Bernstein’s autopsy report.

In his previous testimony, Cohen disputed Espinola’s determination that Bernstein’s death was a homicide. Cohen testified that her death should be ruled as undetermined. Cohen indicated there were no injuries to her brain.

At the start of Agababa’s second trial, defense attorney Curtis Van de Veld informed the court that Cohen would not be able to appear as a result of lack of payment during the last trial.

In lieu of this, Van de Veld had intended to utilize court recordings of Cohen’s testimony which was the subject of contention early on in the first trial. However, it now appears that Cohen will be appearing via teleconference later this week as the defense’s first witness.

In preparation for Cohen’s testimony, Judge Maria Cenzon utilized today’s hearing to provide the jury with instructions.



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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.