Post Crescent Dan Wilson: 920-993-1000, ext. 304, or dwilson@postcrescent.com

David Reimer, accused of causing the death of his girlfriend's baby by shaking him, is led into Branch 7 for his preliminary hearing before Judge John Des Jardins on Thursday at the Outagamie County Courthouse in Appleton. Post-Crescent photo by Kirk Wagner

APPLETON, WI — Logan Boyer lived only 10 weeks and suffered through a lot of pain before he died of head injuries May 22 in a Milwaukee hospital.

At a preliminary hearing Thursday for David Reimer, the 25-year-old caregiver charged with causing the injuries that killed the Appleton baby boy, a medical examiner testified the infant had 21 fractures to his back ribs in various stages of healing.

Logan also had a fresh fracture to his right, upper arm, caused by what forensic pathologist P. Douglas Kelley called "either pulling or twisting."

Kelley said the baby died of a traumatic brain injury, but, despite probing questions from Reimer's attorney, Thomas Zoesch, Kelley declined to speculate what might have caused the injury.

Who killed Logan Boyer and when that person inflicted the fatal injuries will be a major part of Reimer's defense, and is illustrative of a new tactic attorneys are increasingly using to punch holes in prosecutions of shaken-baby cases. As medical tests become more sophisticated, they are pinpointing that many children hurt or killed in shaken-baby cases show signs of injuries that could have been inflicted hours, days or even weeks before the child was seen by medical experts.

Logan was in Reimer's care on the night of May 17-18, but was also around his mother before she went out for the night, and two other people at some point that evening.

"Authorities tend to focus on the people who cared for the child last," Zoesch told The Post-Crescent earlier this month, but ignore others who may have inflicted the injuries before then.

Reimer called for an ambulance at about 8 a.m. May 18 when the boy appeared listless. He died three days later of what an autopsy determined was "traumatic brain injury." Reimer, of Oshkosh, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and child abuse, and a judge decided at Thursday's hearing that enough evidence exists to move forward with his prosecution.

Prosecutors rely on timeline.  Outagamie County Dist. Atty. Carrie Schneider said prosecutors waited until August to file charges because they wanted to be sure they had the medical evidence to support the counts of first-degree reckless homicide and child abuse, both felonies.

The medical examiner — Dr. P. Douglas Kelley — waited to file a final report until test results were in and he had the opportunity to consult with other experts. Schneider said earlier this month that evidence gathered and analyzed by Kelley and others created a timeline of when the injury occurred, leading prosecutors to Reimer.

"And we ask, 'How could this have happened,' and 'who had access to the child' and 'where were they at the time,' and we work backwards from there," Schneider said.

At Thursday's hearing, Kelley said, "the injuries are consistent with blunt trauma. The child suffered a traumatic brain injury—a blunt force injury to the head."

The rib injuries, Kelley said, were caused by some degree of excess force or "compressive force." Kelley said the head and rib injuries were severe enough to cause almost immediate symptoms. There was no testimony that shed light on who or what might have caused the multiple bone fractures. Kelley also listed numerous bruises found on the boy's body, on his chest, buttocks, neck, head and knees.

"That causes me some concern because a baby this age does not walk, or crawl or climb," Kelley said. Medical beliefs 'just plain wrong'

Dr. John Plunkett, a Minnesota pathologist who testifies about 12 times a year for defendants in shaken baby cases, said he is detecting a seismic shift in the assumptions behind shaken-baby syndrome.

"I think finally there is a realization that 30 years worth of medical beliefs are simply wrong and what physicians were taught for years was just plain wrong," Plunkett said.

Plunkett said it's a misconception that head trauma is immediately evident.

"That is not true, it could take days, or weeks," he said. "This thing is just not as easy as people would like it to be."

Plunkett, who was referred to in the American Bar Association Journal in December 2005 as "a thorn in the side of child abuse prosecutors," testified in the Dane County case against Audrey Edmunds. She was freed from prison by the Court of Appeals, which questioned the medical evidence behind her conviction for first-degree reckless homicide in the 1995 death of a 7-month-old baby.

In a June decision, the state Supreme Court declined to overturn the Court of Appeals decision that Edmunds is entitled to a new trial.

That court decision triggered an order for a new trial in a Marathon County case against Quentin Louis, charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of his 4-month-old daughter of what authorities say is shaken-baby syndrome.

National data lacking on injuries.  Amy Wicks is an information and research specialist with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome in Ogden, Utah, a clearinghouse for information on child head trauma.

"The National Association of Medical Examiners and the American Academy of Pediatrics recognize that shaken-baby syndrome is a problem and that children are killed and seriously injured from shaking," Wicks said. "I know that Dr. Plunkett disagrees with that, and his peers disagree with his stand on that.

"There are a handful of people with differing views and they testify in court and they make a decent amount of money doing that," Wicks said.

Wicks said one drawback is the lack of data on shaken-baby cases. There is no system in place to track the number of cases treated or for tracking prosecutions and convictions. Their best estimates put the number of child deaths around 300 a year.

Gene Bartman, manager of the Outagamie County Office of the Public Defender, said ultimately shaken baby cases come down to the credibility of the experts. 

Father Charged with murder of son

August 2007

SEATTLE - A Federal Way man was charged Monday with second-degree murder in the beating death of his 10-week-old son.

King County prosecutors say 18-year-old Christopher Temple called 911 on August 9th to report that Aiden Andrews was not breathing.

Court documents say Temple showed no emotion and seemed disinterested in the boy's condition when police responded. The documents say at one point, Temple told officers "This is cool; I have never seen police take photographs before." At the same time, Aiden's mother was in hysterics over the condition of her son.

Temple initially told detectives that the boy was fine all day and he had found him unconscious after going to check on him, but court documents say he later told investigators that he had hurt the infant while the boy's mother was at work. Temple allegedly said "I know I killed my baby. I'm going to admit it so there's no way around it, so I'll just say yes."

Aiden was taken to Children's Hospital in Seattle where he died four days later after being taken off life support.

Doctors told investigators that the boy suffered head injuries consistent with being shaken and beaten.

Temple is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.


"More than 27 years after he allegedly shook his infant son to death, the case of a North Carolina man finally goes to trial."

Defendant Called "A Monster"
WTAP News  Posted: 7:34 PM Jun 16, 2008
Reporter: Todd Baucher

One of the stepchildren of 48-year-old Richard Poore called him "a monster" on the first day of his trial Monday, one who often committed acts of abuse against him and his relatives.

"He'd just pick who he wanted to hit," said stepson Charles Hinton. "He'd want my brother to say curse words and my brother wouldn't say them, and he'd just punch him. I remember him doing things to my little sister."

And Hinton, who was five and a half years old in 1981, says he saw Poore violently shake his own son, Richard, Junior: violently enough to cause the four-month old infant's death.

"I just saw him pick him up and...run him against the wall," Hinton recalled, fighting back tears, "and just shook him and shook him and shook him."

Stepdaughter Heather Dunn says she was at school when the incident happened. she was notified by young Ricky's mother.

"I remember her saying he was gone," Dunn said. "And my (birth) dad came over and picked me and my brother up...and I remember we stayed with him."

Poore's attorney, Ira Haught, did not cross-examine witnesses, and declined to give opening statements until the defense begins presenting its case. That's something Pleasants County Prosecutor Tim Sweeney told us could happen as soon as Tuesday.

W.T.A.P News reported when Poore was arrested in 2006 that the case took more than two decades to prosecute because the completed autopsy report was never filed
Man charged in 1981 death of infant son

By Kris Wise
August 18, 2006  Charleston Daily Mail (WV)

A Pleasants County man is in jail for the murder of his infant son -- a crime prosecutors say happened 25 years ago.

The little boy's mother says she believes justice finally is being served. She says the arrest relieves a burden she has been carrying for more than two decades.

Forty-six-year-old Richard Poore has not been prosecuted until now because a 1981 autopsy report detailing the death of his four-month-old son was never finished and was only recently discovered. It had been buried in stacks of records at a Morgantown medical examiner's office and was found in 2003, law enforcement officials said.

Pleasants County Prosecutor Tim Sweeney reopened the case in June, after the West Virginia Medical Examiner's Office sent him a finished report showing the baby, Richard Poore, Jr., had suffered severe trauma to his skull and that his fatal wounds had been intentionally inflicted.

In 2003, the state medical examiner's office in Morgantown found several incomplete reports from the early 1980s, done during the tenure of a former medical examiner who had retired, Sweeney said.

Included in those records was a finished autopsy detailing the Poore baby's 1981 death in Pleasants County.

"The tests had been done, the examination had been done, all the notes were taken," Sweeney said this morning. "It was done and it was done right, but nobody had written up a report."

The medical examiner's office hired an independent contractor to study the autopsy notes and write a detailed report and conclusion about the baby's death, Sweeney said.

Sweeney received that report in June, and within hours he had contacted law enforcement to reopen the case.

Sweeney said it was clear the baby's death was a homicide.

"When I got it, it was kind of a surprise because we don't really have that many murders around here," Sweeney said. "When I started reading it I was even more surprised by the evidence and then more so when I saw the date, that it was from 1981."

An investigation by State Police in Pleasants County resulted this week in a warrant being issued for Richard Poore, who was 21 years old at the time of his baby's death.

Poore turned himself in Wednesday and is being held at North Central Regional Jail on $250,000 bond.

Neither Poore nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

Sweeney said Poore is the only person who could have committed the crime. He said a 5-year-old child witnessed the baby's death and said Richard Poore was responsible.

"He was the only person at home with the child," Sweeney said. "I'm not sure what happened at the time or what they knew 25 years ago when this came up, but I think it's important he be held accountable even if it's later rather than sooner."

Jeri Williams, the baby's mother and Richard Poore's ex-wife, said today that she believes justice finally will be served.

"I feel like I've carried this weight around for 25 years," said Williams, who is now remarried and lives in New Matamoras, Ohio. "I knew in my heart that he killed my child. There was no other explanation."

Williams said she and Poore had been married for almost four years when her baby died. They had two children, a 2-year old daughter Laura and the 4-month old Ricky, Jr.

Williams, 27 at the time, was working at a facility for the mentally challenged, just a few miles from the family's home in St. Marys.

Her regular babysitter called off on the morning of April 14, 1981, and Richard Poore, who was unemployed at the time, was left to take care of the couple's two children and Williams' oldest son from another relationship, 5-year-old Charles.

Williams said she had been at work for less than an hour when her boss came to tell her she was needed at home because her baby was sick.

On the road to her house, she was stopped by her sister, who told her the baby was being taken to a hospital but was likely already dead.

"She said, ‘Ricky's dead, and Rick killed him,'" Williams recalled.

Williams said Charles said he saw Poore pick up the crying baby, slam him into a wall and shake him.

The baby was taken to Marietta Memorial Hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Morgantown. The infant was on a respirator for two days before he died April 16, Williams said.

Williams said police officers were present at the hospital and did a rudimentary investigation, but nothing came of it. She said they took no formal statements from Charles and that Richard Poore maintained his innocence.

"He just said the baby had choked," Williams said. "But my 5-year-old saw it all."

Williams said Poore had a bad temper and was often violent, physically abusing her.

"He hurt me, but that was his son," she said. "I wouldn't ever have thought (he'd do) it, but a lot of other people did. When you're young and in love, you're blinded."

Williams said she stayed with Poore for a few days after Ricky's death and then left him. The couple was divorced less than a year later.

Williams said she badgered police and officials for more than three years about getting an autopsy report, but she never did.

"My children and I decided to let God handle it," Williams said today. "We didn't have the means. We didn't have the money to fight. I was a single mother."

She said she has only talked to Richard Poore once in the 24 years since their divorce was final.

She said she has heard he has been living in North Carolina.

Sweeney said since the baby's death, Poore has been incarcerated for other crimes.

Sweeney said this is the first time he's tried to prosecute someone for a crime that happened so long ago, but he's confident the evidence is irrefutable.

"Beginning with the autopsy report, it looked like it was a prosecutable case," Sweeney said. "It's my responsibility not to prosecute someone when there isn't sufficient evidence, and we wouldn't be going forward on this thing if we didn't think we had that evidence."

John Law, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Human Resources, said this morning that a substantial number of unfinished reports, perhaps several hundred, were found in the Morgantown medical examiner's office in 2003. They had been done during the time Dr. Jack Frost headed up the office. He retired in 2000, Law said.

Law said the state is investigating why so many reports were incomplete, and he said he could not comment on whether anyone could be held liable for the unfinished work.

"We are certainly looking at that and investigating that," Law said.

He said he did not know if anyone other than Poore is being prosecuted based on reports found in 2003.


Teen father sentenced for killing baby son

 Story Published: Mar 28, 2008 at 5:52 PM Teen father sentenced for killing baby sonPDT By KOMO Staff

KENT, Wash. -- An 18-year-old dad who pleaded guilty to killing his own baby son was sentenced to more than ten years in prison on Friday.

Baby Aiden was just 10 weeks old when he died from shaken baby syndrome. The baby fell into trouble after his mother left him with his own father, Christopher Temple, while she went to work.

Temple later told police that Aiden's fussiness fueled his frustration and anger, and eventually caused him to shake the baby. Temple eventually alerted the baby's mother, Kendra Beach.

"Work was all normal until about 3:40 when I got your phone call. You told me you thought the baby was dead," Beach said to Temple in court on Friday.

Paramedics rushed Aiden to the hospital. "I watched for four days as he lay on his quilt, dying in the pediatric intensive care unit," said Wanda Andrews, the baby's great-grandmother.

Charged with his son's death, Temple eventually pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

"I would give anything to have it back. I would give my own life to have him back, anything in this world," he said. "And I just want everyone to know that I did not do this intentionally and I am very sorry."

But Rick Garman, the baby's grandfather, said words are not good enough.

"Nobody, nobody could ever convince me it was a mistake. A mistake is when you forget to take the garbage out, when you forget to turn a light out when you leave a room, not when you kill another human being," he said.

Garman said the family will never stop suffering from the trauma of having lost a beloved child.

Judge Sharon Armstrong also showed little sympathy towards Temple.

"I am very troubled, Mr. Temple, by the fact that you did not immediately make every effort available to you to save the child," she said.  The judge sentenced Temple to more than ten years in prison and also ordered him to attend parenting classes since his current girlfriend is pregnant. She also forbid him from having any contact with Beach or anyone in her family for the rest of his life.

Father Gets 13 1/2 Years For Shaking Baby

Father Gets 13 1/2 Years For Shaking Baby Story Published: Nov 17, 2000 at 2:37 PM PDT By KOMO Staff & News Services

KING COUNTY - An exceptionally long sentence was handed down Friday for a Federal Way father who nearly shook his baby to death.

The child's mother has dedicated her life to telling about the dangers of what's called "shaken baby syndrome."

"I feel a tremendous amount of anger toward Vernon Nordness for what he has done," said his ex-wife, Tara Hosmun. "Sometimes I wish I could shake and throw him like he did Kyle so he could feel Kyle's pain."

'Imagine The Feeling' Kyle was 6 months old when his father couldn't get him to stop crying, so he shook him and threw him to the couch, knocking the baby unconscious.

"All you could see of Kyle's face were his closed little eyes," said Hosmun. "Imagine the feeling not knowing if your child would ever wake again."  "How could anybody have done such a horrible thing to such a precious child? Someone who was supposed to love and protect him?" she continued while addressing the judge in King County Superior Court for the sentencing of Nordness.

'I Broke Inside' Nordness wept as he listened, but claims he never shook the baby, saying it was an accident. "My son was dropped and as I heard him scream I broke inside," he said. "I held him and he went limp in my hands."

Kyle suffered severe brain damage and has trouble hearing and walking.

'Maybe I'm Helping' His mother has now dedicated her life to spreading the warning. "Just the thought that if just one person can learn from what's happened to Kyle, that you never shake a baby no matter what," she said, "it helps me hoping maybe I'm helping another child."

To punctuate the severity of the crime the judge sentenced Nordness to 13 1/2 years in prison, well beyond what the prosecutor had asked. And the court ordered that Nordness never see his son for the rest of his life.

Fifty thousand babies each year fall victim to shaken baby syndrome, usually at the hands of their fathers.


KING 5 News Seattle WA

Feb 2009

LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Lynnwood police are investigating a report of a shaken baby.

The two-week old infant was taken to Seattle's Children's Hospital after a call came in around 9 p.m. Friday from the Meadowdale Apartments in the 4800 block of 168th St. SW.

Most residents were in shock about what happened.

"There was a crime scene investigating truck, and then a couple cars for a long time out there,” said resident Kyla Smith.

"We knew overnight it was something that happened with a child,” said Stephanie Sewell.

Lynnwood Police confirmed that emergency responders took a two-week old baby boy to children's hospital shortly after 9 p.m. Friday.

Police say the call came in that the baby allegedly had been shaken.

"I'm not sure who she is, or who the baby was, but that's terrible," said Smith.

Police say they took the child's mother into custody at the scene but later released her. A department spokesperson said the investigation doesn't show enough to hold the mom for now.

Nonetheless, after treatment, rather than being sent back home, the baby was taken into protective custody.

Police say they're waiting for medical results before deciding if they need to come back here and pursue the matter further.

Meanwhile, neighbors here seem \concerned for the mother as well as the child.

"I can see how it can get out of control, but that's when you have to reach out for help.  It's just never been an option for me to hurt my daughter,” said Smith.

Police have not released the name or age of the mother. They did say the call came from someone who knows the woman and was concerned about the welfare of the child.



KTVB Boise Idaho

April 2009

BOISE -- Next week, Garden City baby Lily Smith will turn one-year-old - quite a milestone when you consider a month ago doctors thought she would die.

Lily is the apparent victim of shaken baby syndrome. And the teenager accused of doing the damage is behind bars.

"They said she wasn't going to live.  She had a 95 percent chance of not living," said Breonna Smith, Lily's mom.

"It was devastating, it was horrific.  We called everybody we knew and asked them to call everyone they know and pray," said Tracy Bean, Lily's grandmother.

What happened to baby Lily? Eighteen-year-old Kody Smith may be the only one with an answer. Last week, a grand jury indicted him on charges of aggravated battery and injury to a child.

He was the boyfriend of 16-year-old Breonna Smith.  Late for school, last month, she asked him to babysit her little girl.

When she returned home two hours later, all of their lives would be drastically altered.

"I thought she was sleeping, but after I realized she'd been sleeping too long I went to pick her up and I couldn't wake her up and I asked him 'did anything happen while I was gone?'  He said, 'no,'" said Breonna. "She was like this and her legs were pointed like that."

"I couldn't get her to move at all," said Breonna. "When the ambulance got here, they told me she was having a seizure, when she got into the hospital she was having a coma and she was probably going to die, she had a 5 percent chance of living."

The diagnosis?  Shaken baby syndrome, a traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby is violently shaken. The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation says a fourth of all shaken babies die from this condition. That's nearly 1,500 child fatalities every year. 

Lily would not be one of those statistics, but initially the prognosis was still grim.

"It's the longest wait of my life. You're sitting there in the waiting room and all you can do is wait for someone to tell you your child has either died or lived," said Breonna.

"When he said she would live, he said, more than likely she would be in a vegetative state, that was about all we could hope for," said Tracy Bean, Lily's Grandmother.

Lily was in St. Luke's Hospital for four weeks. The swelling in her brain forced two surgeries.  But she would be one of the lucky ones.

"We started with no hope.  Each step of the way it was about finding a little bit more hope," said Bean.

Just in time for her first birthday, Lily was released from the hospital. 

She is a happy little girl who learned to say "hi" from all the visits she received at the hospital.

"Everybody's called her a miracle.  A miracle baby. She wasn't supposed to ever come near to what she is today and we're just so grateful," said Bean.

But Lily is blind and suffering from paralysis on the left side of her body. Prosecutors say Kody Smith admitted injuring the little girl, putting her to bed and neglecting to seek medical attention.  An avoidable tragedy, according to Lily's family and one they now want to prevent others from suffering.

“I just wanted to take her story and help it bring awareness to taking the time to say something to somebody that has your child, hey if she gets frustrated, or you get frustrated with her, put her down...walk away," said Bean. "No matter what happens, we're all different now.  We're all different people than we were five weeks ago. We still have great hope that she's going to see again, that she's going to have a full or complete life in every aspect, but if she doesn't get all the way there, we'll give her the best life we have to give her."

Kody Smith is scheduled to enter a plea in court on Monday.

We asked his mother and his attorney for an interview or a comment on the case, but they both declined.


(CNN) -- 3/13/2009

Father gets 15 to life for fatal shaking of New Year's baby

The father of a New Year's Day baby pleaded guilty Thursday to killing the infant by violently shaking him.

Craig Wilson's guilty plea in Akron, Ohio, to murder and child endangering charges ended a yearlong saga surrounding the death of Camryn Jakeb Wilson, the first baby born in Summit County, Ohio, in 2008.

"This type of crime is always difficult to understand, but today I do hope that Camryn's mother has some closure and that today is one step toward healing," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said.

Camryn's mother, Crystal Wilson, had left the 10-week-old infant in his father's care on March 12, 2008, while she attended a meeting.

When she returned to their Cuyahoga Falls home she found Camryn in a baby swing, listless and breathing abnormally while her husband of 10 months sat on a couch.

Doctors at Akron Children's Hospital quickly determined that Camryn had suffered traumatic brain injuries and bleeding in his eyes that could only have been caused by violent shaking.

Camryn died in his mother's arms, surrounded by other family members, on March 25, 2008, shortly after being removed from life support.

Craig Wilson, 29, confessed to police that he was frustrated after an argument with his wife over his ex-girlfriend and a child he had with her. He shook and squeezed Camryn before laying him in the swing but hadn't intended to hurt the infant, he told police.

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome estimates that as many as 1,400 babies annually are injured or killed by shaking.

Despite the confession, the case dragged on for a year after an autopsy showed Camryn had suffered broken ribs prior to the fatal shaking. The finding raised the possibility that another person had previously abused Camryn and perhaps contributed to his death, said Jonathan T. Sinn, Craig Wilson's defense attorney.

Craig Wilson's trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

Sinn had hoped to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors that would send Craig Wilson to prison for a flat 20-year term, but in the end, prosecutors wouldn't budge.

"From the moment my client was arrested, he took responsibility for his actions and for the killing of his child," Sinn said. "From a human perspective, that's very admirable. From a defense perspective, it makes it difficult to mount a defense when somebody acknowledges completely their guilt."

Judge Lynne Callahan sentenced Wilson to 15 years to life. He is unlikely to be paroled in less than 20 years, Sinn said.


Cases of child abuse on the rise

05:21 PM PDT on Saturday, April 25, 2009 By JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

SEATTLE - It's a troubling sign of a down economy.  Health experts say cases of child abuse are on the rise.

But a simple learning tool for parents has been shown to protect newborns. 

In a DVD called "The Period of Purple Crying" parents tell their own stories about the stressful first months.

There are tips. But if nothing works, that's normal too. The message is based on 25 years of research on infant crying. As part of a study, the DVDs were given to thousands of new moms in King County.

The aim is to prevent shaken baby syndrome.

"A large portion of people who end up shaking their babies are normal parents who love their child but get frustrated with their crying," said Dr. Fred Rivara, professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's and University of Washington. He led the local research.

"We showed that these mothers who had gotten the information had read it, had looked at it, knew much more about infant crying," he said.

He says learning coping strategies and passing them along to other caregivers is especially important now.

"All parents are stressed," Rivara said. "And there's a lot who are very stressed because they've lost their jobs, and lost their homes."

It could be driving an alarming trend. 

"I think it's important to know that at Children's hospital in the last year the number of children that have been admitted for serious brain injuries from abuse has nearly tripled," Rivara said.

He believes some parents might not realize they're hurting an infant.

"You're shaking the baby and they stop crying," he said. "But they stop crying because there's actually some damage to the brain."

It can lead to seizures, permanent disability, and death. It's why the DVD coaches that the best approach to a crying baby is to give yourself a few minutes break before you lose your cool.

The DVD is only available through some hospitals right now. Seattle Children's and Washington state are teaming up to fund it.


© 2009 Shaken Baby Syndrome Support Network. All rights reserved. 

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