Sister Karen Klimczak struggled with her assailant before she was knocked out and then smothered, a forensic pathologist told the jury during Craig M. Lynch's murder trial Wednesday.
Klimczak died of both homicidal blunt force trauma and asphyxiation by smothering, Dr. James J. Woytash, who performed the autopsy, testified during the murder trial of Lynch, 36.
Klimczak, 62, ran Bissonette House on Grider Street, a halfway house for parolees, where the defendant was a resident for only nine days before Klimczak was killed on April 14, Good Friday.
Police said Lynch confessed to the crime, saying he killed Klimczak accidentally when she confronted him stealing her cell phone.
Lynch faces a possible life term without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.
Woytash, when cross-examined by David R. Addelman, Lynch's attorney, said he was unable to determine the exact cause of the trauma to the nun's right temple.
Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson is scheduled to be a witness for the defense as the trial resumes today. Addelman declined to say if he will call Lynch as a defense witness.
Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on Tuesday signed a judicial subpoena for Gipson's testimony but ruled that Addelman can only question the police commissioner about "what he did" in the investigation and what homicide investigators told him about the slaying.
Addelman had initially sought to question Gipson about statements he made to CNN last April 18, claiming he felt Lynch had accidentally killed the nun while high on drugs.