Saturday, 14 May 2011

SBS: Ohio: John Wilbert Jones' expert medical witness

Ed Meyer :
The lead detective in the Summit County murder trial of 18-year-old John Wilbert Jones unequivocally told the jury Friday that the defense theory on the case was wrong.
Gary Shadie, the Akron police detective who investigated the fatal head injuries to the defendant's 6-month-old daughter, Jada Ruiz Jones, based his testimony on the case timeline.
Both sides have agreed that Jada's mother, Deja Ruiz, the 19-year-old former girlfriend of Jones, left her Springdale Drive apartment and caught a bus for school at 8:05 on the morning of March 19, 2010.
A recorded 911 call, in which Jones told police he saw Ruiz off then awoke to find Jada was not breathing, began at 9:44 a.m.
At that time, Jones alone was caring for Jada, her twin sister and their 2-year-old brother in the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority apartment.
Based on the Akron police investigative reports, as well as input from all of the doctors who treated Jada's head injuries that day at Akron Children's Hospital, Shadie told the jury that the effects of those injuries would have rendered her unconscious within ''a very narrow window.''
That period of time, Shadie testified, would have been ''immediately to within 30 minutes.''
''There was no possible way that Deja could have caused the injuries prior to her leaving at the agreed upon time, which they both said was 8 o'clock in the morning,'' Shadie testified.
He said that based on input from the doctors, Jada was a victim of shaken baby syndrome.
Lead defense counsel Joseph F. Gorman told the 30-member jury pool Tuesday morning — hours before the final panel was chosen — that the defense's position was that Deja Ruiz inflicted the injuries before leaving for school.
Common Pleas Judge Patricia Cosgrove is hearing the case. Jury instructions and closing arguments are scheduled for Monday morning.
Jones, who was 17 at the time of Jada's injuries, had his case bound over to adult court months after the incident. He was indicted Nov. 2 on two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and three felony counts of child endangering.
The murder charges were filed after Jada was removed from life support and pronounced dead July 16.
Children's Hospital doctors who treated Jada testified previously that, in addition to her head injuries, she had retinal detachments, fractures of the right and left upper arm, right thigh and lower right leg, left thigh and lower left leg and a spinal injury.
After the state rested Friday, the defense challenged the analysis of the head injuries by local authorities with lengthy testimony by Dr. Jonathan L. Arden, a veteran forensic pathologist from McLean, Va.
Arden received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1980. He did his residency at New York University Medical Center, later served as an assistant medical examiner for the state of Delaware and worked in the New York City medical examiner's office for nine years, eventually rising to a position there of second in command.
He was on the witness stand for more than three hours.
Arden testified that Jada had two types of head trauma — both collections of blood on the brain known in medical terms as hematomas.
He told the jury one was an ''acute,'' or fresh hematoma, which could have occurred up to one week before Jada's brain scans at Children's Hospital.
The other was a ''sub-acute,'' or older hematoma, which was in the middle stages of healing and could have occurred from one to three weeks before the hospital brain scans, Arden said.
Arden said he strongly disagreed with the opinions of the local medical authorities that the effects of Jada's head injuries would have left her unconscious immediately.
He told the jury he had the experience of 2,300 to 2,400 forensic autopsies during his long career and at least 400 pediatric autopsies.
If Jones is convicted of either of the murder charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

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