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Defense counters medical examiner's testimony in College Park manslaughter trial

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Caryn Kelley's manslaughter trial went into its fifth day of testimony Friday.

Kelley is accused of shooting her boyfriend, Phillip Peatross, to death during a drunken argument inside her College Park home in 2011.

Her defense has maintained that Peatross grabbed the gun and shot himself.

"How much disagreement can there be between reasonable medical examiners when it comes to homicide?" defense attorney Diana Tennis asked pathologist Dr. William Anderson in court.

"Oh, there can be disagreement," said Anderson.

The defense called Anderson as its own expert witness to counter Orange County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia.

Earlier this week, Garavaglia testified she believes Peatross' death was a homicide because of the angle of the gun and the distance of the barrel to his head, which she believes was 3 to 6 inches.

But Anderson testified the barrel could have been closer than Garavaglia thought.

Prosecutors argued that Anderson was changing his opinion from his own deposition after looking at new information.

"Dr. Anderson, you changed your testimony after looking at new evidence," asked prosecutor Candra Moore.

"No," said Anderson.

"You don't think you've changed at all?" asked prosecutor Candra Moore.

"No," said Anderson.

At that point, proceedings broke down as technical legal issues were discussed late into the afternoon.

Late Friday afternoon it was announced that Kelley will not testify in her own defense.

"You don't need to put on evidence you don't need to put on," Tennis told Channel 9 Friday.

"Is it because she's been an emotional roller coaster this entire time? Didn't want to risk it?" asked WFTV's Kenneth Craig.

Tennis did not reply.

Kelley, who walked out of day five of her manslaughter trial, had a smile on her face and seemed happy to see a WFTV reporter.

"Why did you decide not to take the stand?" asked Craig.

"What's your name?" Kelley said.

"I'm Kenneth," said Craig.

"Hi, Kenneth!" Kelley said.

Kelley wouldn't answer questions about her change in plans.

The bizarre encounter came just an hour after Kelley fought back tears and told a judge, "I decided not to testify because I'm too emotional."

The defense had promised she would in opening statements.

"When you promise the jury something, and you fail to deliver, that's a hard bell to unring," said WFTV Legal Analyst Bill Sheaffer.

Thursday, Kelley broke down crying as prosecutors played video of her being interrogated..

Later, she flopped her head down on the desk.

Sheaffer said the more histrionics displayed, the less the jury can identify with Kelley.

"Often times, they hold it against the defendant," Sheaffer said.

Late Friday, the defense rested its case after calling an expert witness to the stand, a pathologist.

The trial will resume on Tuesday.

The state said it has three quick rebuttal witnesses that will take a stand, then closing arguments will take place before the case goes to a jury.