PDT Staff Writer
The attorneys in the murder trial of Brandon J. Wilson took more than four hours Monday to select a jury, choosing the jury shortly after 1 p.m. Then, after a break for lunch, at approximately 2:15 p.m., those involved in the case left to view the scene where the incident in question occurred.
Wilson, 23, of 1202 Rosemount Road, is on trial in the death of 10-month-old Neylan Wilson, who died on Nov. 20, 2012 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where, on Nov. 19, officials had reported they were treating a 10-month-old infant for several life-threatening injuries including a skull fracture.
When the jury returned from the scene of the incident, both sides presented opening arguments, with Julie Hutchinson opening for the prosecution. Hutchinson explained the three charges - aggravated murder, murder, and endangering children - to the jury.
“Evidence will show this is abuse,” Hutchinson said. “This defendant resented that baby.”
She said at times he resented the mother of the baby and even the older sibling.
Defense attorney Franklin T. Gerlach said the autopsy on the child showed blunt trauma to the back of the head, and said “there was no explanation at all, so the coroner said it must have been homicide.”
Gerlach talked about several falls the baby had taken including a fall from a couch, saying the child could have hit his head on the floor or on a table. He also said there were facts in the case that were never presented to the coroner or the grand jury.
Assistant Prosecutor Pat Apel called Southern Ohio Medical Center emergency room physian Dr. Seth DeAtley to the stand to ask about the morning of the 19th, when the baby was brought into the emergency room. DeAtley outlined the treatment given to the baby before airlifting it to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and said it was suffering from obvious respiratory distress and posturing when it was brought in. DeAtley said the baby was in the SOMC facility for approximately an hour before being transported for “a higher level of care.”
On cross examination, Gerlach asked if the SOMC physicians had seen any evidence of injury. DeAtley said they did not, but also said all the care was concentrated on the respiratory distress, and injuries could have been “easily overlooked.” Gerlach asked DeAtley what his final diagnosis was, and he said respiratory failure.
On redirect, Apel asked if DeAtley thought the child would die, and he said he did not believe it had much of a chance of surviving. The baby died on Nov. 20.
The trial is being held in the Scioto County Common Pleas Courtroom of Judge William T. Marshall. Pat Apel and Julie Hutchinson of the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office are representing the state while Franklin T. Gerlach and Valarie K. Gerlach are representing the defendant.
The trial will continue today.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.