"It really is a tragedy," said Craig Wilson's defense attorney, Jonathan T. Sinn. "I mean, not only did Crystal and Craig lose a son, but Crystal lost a husband, and Craig's parents lost a son and a grandson. ... One day this was a happy, perfect family, and the next day it's been devastated."
Craig Wilson and Crystal Twiddy, both recovering alcoholics, met about four years ago in a softball league popular with Alcoholics Anonymous members. The couple beamed in engagement photos shot in a garden setting before they were married in September. It was the first marriage for both
Craig, the machinist son of the Cuyahoga Falls High School wrestling coach and a former Mat Cats wrestler himself, became a father figure to Tabatha, Crystal's daughter from a previous relationship.
The newlyweds also became frequent caretakers to 1-year-old Corrine, a daughter Craig had with another woman. Family members said the couple's only source of conflict was Craig's interaction with Corrine's mother.
On March 12, the topic sparked a heated quarrel, according to a police report and family accounts. The couple hurled their wedding rings, along with profane insults, at each other. Crystal left with Tabatha to attend one of her regular AA meetings, leaving baby Camryn in the care of his father.
"Maybe they both could have used a meeting that night," Sinn observed.
When Crystal and Tabatha got home from the meeting March 12, Crystal immediately noticed that Camryn didn't look right in his baby swing. He was gasping for air but couldn't be wakened. After briefly speaking with an on-call doctor at Akron Children's Hospital, she scooped him up and rushed him there.
Camryn was critically injured, with bleeding inside his head and in the backs of his eyes, and several broken ribs -- some of which, according to the autopsy, turned out to be older injuries
. Medical personnel at the hospital determined that the combination of injuries could only mean abuse.
When rib fractures are seen in a 10-week-old infant, "it's beating up
," said Dr. Nicolas Krawiecki, a pediatric neurologist.
Craig Wilson was summoned to the hospital, where police questioned both parents separately. Early on March 13, the 5-foot-7-inch, 190-pound father was arrested after admitting that he had shaken and squeezed his baby out of frustration and anger toward his wife resulting from the argument over Corrine's mother, according to the police investigators' report.
The bleeding inside Camryn's head was catastrophic. The two sides of his brain were "like two telephone poles with the lines between them cut," a family member said a doctor told them. Camryn was blind and incapable of feeling someone touching him, he could not breathe on his own, and if he lived, he would never be aware of his surroundings or even be capable of thinking, family members said
After almost two weeks of waiting for a miracle that would never come, Crystal Wilson decided to withdraw life support. She gave friends and family -- including everyone on Craig's side -- time to gather to say goodbye to the tiny boy with the big, sightless eyes. Various relatives took turns holding him as he gradually slipped away.
"They pulled together; they prayed together; they took baby Camryn off life support together," said Sinn, the Wilson family's longtime lawyer. "And that was a wonderful thing, that they were able to pull together like that despite Craig being alleged to have done these things."
Camryn's father was not among them as he remained in jail. Sheriff's deputies took Craig Wilson to the funeral home for a brief private viewing of the infant's body the night before the funeral.
But the family unity would not last. Buried with Camryn were multiple relationships that could not survive the grief, recrimination and legal machinations that have followed his death.
Crystal Wilson intends to divorce her husband of 11 months and is at odds with her in-laws.
"My anger is kicked in full load," she wrote on her private MySpace page. "I don't care what Craig's family members think. He did this to my son. May he get what he deserves! Maybe people should talk more about Camryn than Craig. Craig's name has no worth to even be mentioned."
The autopsy report, obtained by CNN, found Camryn had multiple rib fractures, including several that apparently were incurred on one or more previous occasions.
"The question becomes: If that autopsy is accurate, if this child has been severely injured to the point that his ribs were fractured on prior occasions, multiple occasions, how come no one knew that?" Sinn said.
If Camryn's caregivers didn't pick up on his earlier rib fractures, neither did medical personnel trained to look for signs of child abuse. Camryn had been to Children's Hospital several times during his short life -- including earlier on the day he was fatally injured -- for well-baby checks and immunizations. No doctor or nurse ever noted broken ribs or signs of unusual pain in the infant, family members said.
"I lost my job because of this, because I couldn't work enough hours. Now I have to move into a smaller place," Crystal said. "It's horrible. It's a whole life change." And the consequences in such circumstances extend beyond the immediate family, Saros said.
Crystal Wilson's mother -- Camryn's grandmother, Laura Twiddy -- is angry at Craig but is trying to keep perspective.
"I can't have HATE eat me up and beat me down. I can't live like that," she wrote on her MySpace page. "I will have to one day forgive him so that I might find peace."
Peace of a sort can be found near the back of Stow Cemetery, where birds chirp in the trees above a freshly carved marker bearing a photograph of a big-eyed baby boy. The plot where Camryn now lies beneath that stone was donated to Crystal Wilson by a kind relative: Janet Wilson, Camryn's great-grandmother. On his father's side.