By Cristina Janney
The Newton Kansan
Posted Jul 09, 2010 @ 10:42 PM
Last update Jul 09, 2010 @ 11:02 PM
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Carr, 26, was allegedly home alone with the toddler in North Newton on March 27 when 19-month-old Vincent Hill stopped breathing.
Carr was the boyfriend of the boy’s mother, Katheryn Nycole Dale.
Dr. Scott Kipper of the Sedgwick County coroner’s office testified Friday the child died of asphyxiation and likely was suffocated.
Hill had impressions on the inside of his lips that indicated they were forcibly pushed against his teeth, he said.
Harvey County sheriff’s investigator Robert Guest testified Carr told him in an interview he sometimes put a rag in Hill’s mouth or cupped his hand over his mouth to stop Hill from crying.
Carr also told Guest he once tied the child’s hands behind his back for picking up fuzz of the carpet and sometimes slapped on the hand for doing the same.
Carr told Guest Hill fell down at least part of a flight of carpeted stairs the day before his death. Defense attorney Charles O’Hara argued at least part of the injuries the child received could have been from the fall.
Kipper said although some of the injuries could be related to a fall down stairs, some of the injuries, including the asphyxiation, could not.
In his report, Kipper deemed Hill’s death a homicide.
Dr. Audrey Roberts, the pediatrician who attended to Hill when he was brought into the emergency room at Newton Medical Center, testified about the injuries she witnessed on Hill’s body.
Roberts said Hill had injuries from his head to his toes.
She said Hill had a lot of bruising on his face, an eye swollen shut, blood behind his ear drum, retinal bleeding and “massive” trauma to the mouth
He also had a broken collar bone and a broken right leg
— injuries that Roberts said were likely recent.
Roberts also testified the child had bruised genitalia that was swollen to about three times its normal size.
Hill also had some older injuries, Roberts said, including bruising and a broken left leg
“Vincent was not old enough to climb to high enough or run fast enough to receive these type of injuries to the front and the back,” she said. “Injuries to both sides are not consistent with accidental trauma. It was most likely child abuse.”
Carr called 911 to report the child not breathing and was doing CPR when law-enforcement officials arrived.
However, Roberts testified the rigor had started to set in when she examined the child at the emergency room,
which means the child could have been dead two hours or more.
O’Hara repeatedly questioned defense witnesses about the time of death and the age of Hill’s injuries.
Kipper said the freshest injuries occurred within 24 hours of the Hill’s death, but he said a precise time of death could not be determined.
O’Hara argued that was not a narrow enough time frame to determine Carr injured Hill.
Carr told police he put Hill to bed at 9 p.m. March 26 and did not see him again until Carr woke up at about 3:30 p.m. the next day
to find Hill not breathing in his crib.
Hill’s mother, Dale, left at 9 a.m. March 27 to go to a baby shower in Wichita, Carr told police.
She did not return until she was notified of her son’s death, Guest testified.
Harvey County Attorney David Yoder also presented evidence of photos taken at the scene of Hill’s crib. Investigators found no blood in the child’s upstairs room
However, they found dried blood on a bib at the home, sheriff’s deputy Gary Littlejohn testified.
Yoder also introduced photos of Carr’s hands, which showed some injuries to the knuckles.
Carr told police he injured his hands at work.
Carr’s attorney said Carr has consistently told police he did not hurt Hill on the day he died and argued there was not enough evidence to prove Carr killed Hill.
However, Judge Richard Walker bound Carr over on a charge of first-degree murder, as well as one count of aggravated battery and one count of abuse of a child.
A second count of abuse of a child and a second count of aggravated battery were dismissed.
Yoder dropped one count of aggravated battery because he said it duplicated the other charge. Walker said there was not enough evidence that Carr abused Hill prior to March 27 to sustain the second count of abuse of a child.
Carr pleaded not guilty to all three charges and requested a jury trial.
Carr is set to be in court for a pretrial hearing at 1 p.m. Aug. 18.
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