March 5, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The jury deliberated for nearly three hours Tuesday before returning a guilty verdict on the charge of murder in the case of Brandon Wilson, 23, of 1202 Rosemount Road, Portsmouth, charged in the beating death of 10-month-old Neylan Wilson, who died on Nov. 19, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Judge William T. Marshall read the verdict shortly after 3 p.m.
“On the charge of aggravated murder, we the jury find the defendant Brandon Wilson not guilty,” read Marshall. “On the charge of murder, we the jury find the defendant Brandon Wilson guilty.”
Marshall then announced a guilty verdict to a charge of child endangering.
Marshall sentenced Wilson to 15 years to life on the murder charge, and three years on the child endangering charge — to be served consecutively — bringing the total to 18 years before Wilson will be eligible for parole. Marshall gave Wilson credit for 90 days served.
“I think it was a fair verdict,” Scioto County Assistant Prosecutor Pat Apel said. “It’s what we draw citizens in to sit on a jury for. It’s not a pleasant case. Nothing like this ever is. It reflects upon our community and everybody involved. It’s a tragic matter for everybody.”
The trial lasted seven days and saw several witnesses called including Dr. Mary Ranee Leder of Nationwide Children’s Hospital who was called by the prosecution. She testified that the injuries suffered by the infant could not have been caused by any of the three falls the defense said he experienced prior to becoming ill on Nov. 18. She told the jury blunt force trauma, with the additional injury of retinal hemorrhaging were all part of the cause. She told the jury the cause of death was Shaken Baby Syndrome by way of a diagnosis of abusive head trauma.
After the jury left the courtroom, defense attorneys Franklin T. Gerlach and Valarie K. Gerlach consoled their client, as a gallery of onlookers sat silently.
Assistant Prosecutor Julie Hutchinson, getting ready to step onto the elevator, was asked what she thought about the verdict.
“I think God is good,” Hutchinson said.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.