News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Defense Attorney Howardene Garrett objects during Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin's cross examination of Dr. Edward Willey on Tuesday morning during the murder trial of James Parker III at the Highlands County Courthouse in Sebring.
click any photo to view this story's photo gallery
published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Parker defense refutes claims Short's injuries were not cause by fall
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Defense attorney Howardene Garrett brought a couple of witnesses to the stand during James Parker's trial Tuesday morning that built up their theory about the cause of death of 20-month-old Kaedyn Short in 2009.
Parker, a former Avon Park police officer, is on trial for first degree murder and aggravated child abuse in connection with Short's death.
Garrett introduced Dr. Edward Willey, a former medical examiner who currently works as a medical doctor and consultant. Willey testified that he did not agree with All Children's Hospital pathologist Dr. Hector Monforte's medical report, which was revealed to jurors on Friday.
Willey also stated that the general perception of short fall injuries --injuries that occur from falling 10 meters or less -- is an "inherit skepticism."
"The general belief is that short falls are never injurious," Willey said. "The implication is that nobody is ever killed by a short fall. I don't agree with that."
Garrett questioned Willey's thoughts and opinions of Short's injuries.
"In your opinion, is that a fracture consistent with a short fall?" Garrett asked.
"It is a possibility," Willey said.
Questions were asked by the defense regarding the timing and dating of the injury by other doctors who examined Short and the injuries leading up to her hospitalization.
Willey testified that injuries to one part of the head may sometimes impact another part of the head.
The defense then asked about Parker's claim that Short had multiple falls the night she died.
"There appeared to be days of vacant stares on occasion before her hospitalization and then on that night she had several short falls onto undetermined surfaces, which possibly would include the corner of a laptop or drywall. Is there anything about the injuries that identify with these medical reports that is inconsistent with that?" Garrett asked.
"No. I think that's a potential explanation," Willey said. "As far as I know there was no laceration in this case." Without that piece of evidence, Willey believed that it would be difficult to find the causation of injury.
The doctor also disagreed with Dr. Ronald Glass's testimony Friday that Short's skull fractures were acute.
Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin cross examined Willey, asking for a number of clarifications to Willey's testimony.
"Doctor can you say whether it was a high or low velocity injury to cause the L-shaped fracture on the side of the head?" Houchin asked.
"I can't speak to that," Willey said.
"You have not ever seen injuries such as this to a child's head from household falls?" Houchin asked.
"I'm not sure I've seen anything as extensive as this from a household fall. But I have seen falls from upper bunks that are almost as severe," Willey said.
"Did you see any evidence of a spontaneous hemorrhage in this child's brain?" Houchin asked.
"No," Willey said.
Willey went on to agree with a quote and statistic from a pediatric medicine research article that stated that 0.48 per million fatalities occur from short falls in toddlers and children.
Following Willey, the defense team brought Dr. William Lee to the stand. Lee is a professor of biomechanical engineering and medicine at University of South Florida. He works in a number of areas, and is an expert in injury biomechanics and accident reconstruction.
Garrett asked Lee to explain the mechanics of an injury that a child could sustain from falling from a bunk bed.
"With a 4 1/2- to 5-foot bunk bed, it depends on how fast a child is going. The speed would be just under 18 feet per second. It is 600 Gs average force when hitting the ground," Lee said.
Lee stated that somewhere between 14,000 pounds per 10th of an inch and 2,700 pounds per one half inch is the calculated stopping distance for a child weighing what Short did at the time of the possible fall.
Lee could not, however, give his opinion as to whether such a fall could cause such severe injuries to Short and cause death.
The trial will continue today. A verdict is expected to be given by the end of the week.
GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY (by: Grandmother of 4 - 9/19/2012)
Parker is a poor excuse for a human being! He killed this baby and won't be honest. He should have took a plea deal. Anyone that can harm a child to this extent should be put to death immediately!
Small Banner Ads