PDT Staff Writer
Dr. Mary Ranee Leder MD, with 17 years of experience and practices in Pediatrics, Developmental - Behavioral Pediatrics, and Child Abuse Pediatrics, told jurors in the Brandon Wilson murder trial Wednesday that a fall in from shopping cart, down a set of stairs or from a couch could not have caused the injuries that claimed the life of 10-month-old Neylan Wilson on Nov. 20 of 2012.
For several hours Leder — one of the attending physicians at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus — testified in the courtroom of Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge William T. Marshall as to the extent of Neylan Wilson’s injuries, attributing those injuries to Shaken Baby Syndrome and listing the diagnosis as abusive head trauma.
One of the attorney’s for Brandon Wilson, Franklin T. Gerlach, brought up several studies done by other medical officials — including a study from the University of Pennsylvania — that disputes Shaken Baby Syndrome and that shows, with the use of dummies, children can suffer similar injuries in a fall.
Leder was given copies of those studies, but when questioned, said they were flawed. Leder said a study of injuries and deaths of children falling from swings on a playground is “not applicable to this case.” Leder said the children in the study were not 10-months-old and there is no evidence that Neylan Wilson was ever injured in a playground accident.
Gerlach brought up the report of “blunt force trauma” as the cause of the skull fracture. Leder said with the additional injury of retinal hemorrhaging, a combination of blunt force trauma and Shaken Baby Syndrome would have been needed to have occurred to result in the variety of injuries.
The first diagnosis by physicians at Nationwidee Children’s Hospital, was bleeding on the surface of the brain (hematoma), subdural hemorrhage, a skull fracture and severe retinal hemorrhaging. Leder said the baby’s retina actually split.
While the treatment of the baby was ongoing, Leder said she was not told the baby had fallen in the hours before being brought in for medical treatment. The medical authorities had been told of two falls in the weeks prior to the baby being rushed to the hospital. One was from a shopping cart in a grocery store and the other was down several stairs at the baby’s home. However, hospital officials had not been told of a fall the day before from a couch. She ruled out the falls 19 days before as having caused the injuries. Leder referred to the chances of a child dying from a fall such as those reported in the baby’s case as “one in a million.”
Pictures of the baby’s buttocks were shown and the prosecution explained the difference between what are called “Mongolian Spots,” (flat, blue, or blue-gray skin markings near the buttocks that commonly appear at birth or shortly thereafter) that the baby already had and linear bruises which appeared in that same area. Gerlach asked if those linear bruises could have caused head trauma, and Leder said they could not have.
“How many deaths have you seen caused by a stair fall?” Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Julie Hutchinson asked.
“None,” Leder replied.
“How many deaths have you seen from a fall in a grocery cart?”
“None,” Leder again responded.
“How many deaths have you seen as the result of falling off a couch 18 inches high?”
“None. The ultimate cause of this child’s death was severe head trauma,” Leder said.
Earlier, Dr. Franklin Mynes, Medical Director at the Southern Ohio Medical Center Urgent Care facility in Wheelersburg, testified that Neylan Wilson had been brought into the facility on Nov. 1, 2012, after vomiting several times. Neylan was diagnosed as having a left ear infection and was given medicine and sent home. He told jurors there was no sign of physical injuries at that time.
The trial continues today, still in the prosecution phase. The defense may bring its case as early as Friday.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.