March 4, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Defense Attorney Franklin T. Gerlach put his client, Brandon Wilson, on the stand Monday, in an attempt to clarify Wilson’s version of what happened in the weeks and hours before the death of 10-month-old Neylan Wilson on Nov. 19, 2012.
The situation, as far as the case goes, began on Nov. 1, when the parents, Wilson and Tierra Simeona took Neylan for medical attention after he became ill and was vomiting. According to Simeona, they took the child to SOMC Urgent Care in Wheelersburg, where he was released after 7 p.m., then took him trick or treating in New Boston.
Gerlach called New Boston Mayor James Warren to testify, and under questioning, Warren told him the hours for trick or treating on Nov. 1 were 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wilson told a different chain of events. He told the jury, they attempted to take Neylan to Southern Ohio Medical Center’s main campus, but found it too crowded, and so they headed for the Urgent Care facility, but made a stop first in New Boston to take Neylan and his sibling to trick or treat - then went to Urgent Care.
Both said they did not tell doctors about a fall Wilson said he had taken earlier on the stairs in the apartment, because they didn’t think his injuries were severe and they were mainly concerned with the vomiting.
Another issue occurred when Wilson, while under questioning, said the same thing Simeona had said earlier in the case.
“My mom was scaring us, telling us that we would be in trouble if we took him to Urgent Care, because they would think there was abuse and negligence,” Wilson said.
Gerlach brought out what Wilson said was a special bond between Wilson and Neylan, saying Wilson sometimes referred to Neylan as his “favorite child.” He was asked if Wilson had, prior to the birth of the baby, been told he may not be the father. Wilson said he was and it bothered him at first, but after Neylan was born, they bonded.
“Yes, Neylan was my child,” Wilson said.
The case then advanced to the date of the discovery of injuries and the subsequent date of the death of Neylan Wilson, Nov. 18 and 19. Earlier doctors from Nationwide Children’s Hospital had testified the skull fracture and hemorrhaging, as well as the torn retinas were the result of shaken Baby Syndrome and blunt force trauma to the back of the head.
“Did you cause any blunt force trauma to the back of the head of Neylan, your son?” Gerlach asked.
“No, I did not,” Wilson responded.
Wilson was asked if he did something to try to revive the child when he became unresponsive. It is then that he said he shook the child to try to revive him, the same explanation of his admission to shaking the baby, found on the video interview with Wilson conducted by Scioto County Sheriff’s Detective Jodi Conkel.
Under questioning by Gerlach, Wilson said he had started the day, Nov. 18, by smoking marijuana at a friend’s house. Wilson also reiterated the description of three falls - one down the stairs, another in a shopping cart, and another from a couch in the home.
Under cross examination, Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor began by going over Wilson’s extensive record, touching on everything from several arrests and a conviction for domestic violence, disorderly conduct, two theft convictions, carrying a concealed weapon, being a fugitive from justice in Las Vegas, and several misdemeanor counts. Apel brought out that Wilson had been put in Marsh House for drug rehab, but had left early, and that he had been ordered to the Second Chance Drug Rehab Center, where he also left after a few days.
Apel continued to hammer away at Wilson, asking him to explain what happened to the baby since the injuries were supposed to have occurred within 12 hours of it being brought to the hospital, since it was determined the only people in the house during that time frame were Wilson, Neylan, and the three-year-old sibling.
Wilson continued to say he did not know what could have happened unless it had been from the earlier fall from the couch.
At one point, when confronted by Apel, Wilson said he wished he had told the doctors about the fall.
“I wish I had taken him to the doctor when he fell,” Wilson said. “If there was something I wish I had done, it was that.”
Apel grabbed the doll used in the video interview and slammed it against the podium, charging - “This is what you did!”
Wilson continued to respond - “No sir I did not.”
“Can you explain what happened?” Apel asked
“Besides what I described, no I can’t,” Wilson said.
After re-direct questioning by Gerlach, Judge William T. Marshall told the jury both sides will give closing arguments beginning at 9 a.m. today, followed by the charging of the jury and deliberations.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.