‘It Looked Like a Peeled Banana’ — Cop Describes Gory Samurai Sword Scene

By David Brand

First responders, who reported to the Elmhurst home of a former domestic violence victim, testified during her assault trial on Wednesday in Queens Supreme Court about the blood and disturbing crime scene.

Karla Barba is accused of hacking her then fiance Franklin Lorrea’s arm with a samurai sword inside their apartment in June 2016. Barba’s defense attorney Stacey Richman maintains that the alleged assault was an accident and that Barba thought the sword was a decorative prop and not a sharp blade.

Nonetheless, the crime scene demonstrated just how sharp that blade was.

Much of the apartment building was awash in blood, from the first-floor lobby to the third-floor residence, said Lt. Steven Weiss.

“There was blood all over the floor of the lobby,” said Weiss, a top detective in the NYPD’s Department of the Chief Control Strategist. “There was a very large pool of blood, blood on the walls.”

Weiss said he walked up the stairs and noticed more “blood on the walls” and another pool of blood on the second-floor landing. In the third-floor apartment, he encountered another pool as well as streaks of blood at “waist-length” height. Crime scene photos entered into evidence showed blood splatters in several of the apartment’s rooms, including Barba’s son’s bedroom.

Weiss said he visited Lorrea in Elmhurst Hospital after the alleged assault and observed the wounds on the victim’s arm, which he described in gruesome detail.

There was a “wide gash” on Lorrea’s forearm and a deep slice in Lorrea’s wrist, just below the palm, Weiss said.

“It looked like a peeled banana, the skin pulled off the wrist,” he said. “[The wound] peeled back the skin significantly so that you could see muscle fat and tissue.”

Earlier in the day, EMT Ryan Walsh confirmed the extent of the injuries.

“It was pretty deep to the point there was white showing — could have been bone could have been ligaments,” Walsh said.

Richman pointed out that neither Walsh nor Weiss knew what had actually happened in the apartment when they respond

A Spanish translator described the court proceedings to Barba, who remained still as she listened to the disturbing details through a headset.