FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam testified Tuesday at the murder trial of Wesley Hadsell in Franklin.
Wesley Hadsell is on trial for allegedly killing his 18-year-old step-daughter AJ Hadsell in 2015 when she was home in Norfolk on spring break from Longwood University.
Northam was AJ’s pediatric neurologist at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk at the time. He was treating her for migraines she suffered as a result of a concussion she received while playing soccer in 2013.
Northam said he remembers AJ well. He said she was “full of life” and a “good kid.” The two bonded over athletics, he said.
Northam last saw AJ on Jan 5, 2015, two months before she disappeared. He prescribed AJ a drug called Nortriptyline. Nortriptyline was created in the 1970s to treat depression, but now it’s mainly used to treat migraines.
One of the defense’s theories is that AJ was depressed and maybe died by suicide — possibly by taking an overdose of Nortriptolyne.
Northam is also board certified in psychology, so prosecutors asked him if AJ was depressed. He said absolutely not.
The defense doesn’t have to prove this theory, they just have to raise questions to try and create reasonable doubt.
Last week in court, the medical examiner said AJ died of heroin poisoning, having triple the lethal limit in her system when she died.
Prosecutors still haven’t given a theory of how exactly they believe Wesley Hadsell forced AJ to take the heroin.
The prosecution will continue to call witnesses on Wednesday. The defense is expected to begin its case later this week.