Defense can seek witness in Nassiri murder case

HOUGHTON – The defense for the Dollar Bay man alleged to have murdered his wife in December will be able to seek a court-appointed expert medical witness.

Houghton County Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman authorized a “reasonable fee” Thursday for attorney David Gemignani to consult with an expert on his own to discuss the case of Nima Nassiri, 35.

“Without the expertise of myself in the area of medical examinations, I’m somewhat handicapped, I feel, as to fully develop the facts that I would need to develop this case and make further intelligent inquiry as to the manner of death, the cause of death, and other medical areas,” Gemignani said. “My client is indigent. I am court-appointed. This is a capital case.”

Gemignani sought to counter the testimony of a medical examiner from Marquette who testified at Nassiri’s preliminary hearing in June.

Deputies responded to Nassiri’s home on the night of Dec. 8 after he called 911. Nassiri’s wife, Sanaz Nezami, 27, died four days later at Marquette General Hospital from injuries sustained that night.

During the preliminary hearing, John Weiss, a pathologist at Medical Laboratories of Marquette, said Nezami appeared to have died of an acute subdural hematoma, a collection of blood under the skull. He also found numerous bruises and abrasions on her body and face. Some of the wounds appeared to be from older incidents, he said.

Nassiri is charged with second-degree homicide, which says he had the intent to kill, but not forethought. If found guilty, he could spend up to life in prison.

Nassiri is scheduled to stand trial the week of Sept. 15.