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Old 05-04-2016, 12:15 PM
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Default Oregon City Babysitter Found Guilty of Murder in 2015 Death of Infant

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A Clackamas County judge Wednesday found an Oregon City woman guilty of murder after concluding that she caused the death last year of a 7-month-old boy in her care "beyond any shadow of a doubt."

A state medical examiner and other doctors testified during a two-week trial that Izaak Gillen's injuries indicated he suffered severe head trauma, while baby sitter Sarah Martin and her defense team claimed the boy may have choked on a snack or that emergency responders botched efforts to get the infant oxygen on the way to Randall Children's Hospital.

Circuit Judge Robert Herndon firmly rejected Martin's version.

"The fact of the matter is that someone inflicted a traumatic injury on (Izaak)," Herndon said. "The only person that could have done it was you, Ms. Martin."

Martin, 38, appeared to look straight ahead and showed little emotion after Herndon announced his verdict. Her parents and the boy's parents were among about 75 people who gathered in the courtroom for the decision.

The baby had become unresponsive in Martin's home on April 6, 2015. He died at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland the next day.

The prosecution argued that the boy's injuries -- including a fractured skull, a subdural hematoma and extensive retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes -- suggested he was shaken.

While on the witness stand, Martin reiterated what she had told police and paramedics: She suspected the infant had choked on a Gerber puff snack she fed him about 15 minutes earlier. She also testified that the baby hit his head on the kitchen counter and "flopped" out of her hand when she placed him on the floor while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. She said she had gently shaken the boy to rouse him. She said both falls weren't from a distance that would have seriously injured the infant.

A state medical examiner determined the baby died from closed head injuries and ruled his death a homicide. Several paramedics testified that the boy was comatose when they arrived, which was about four minutes after Martin placed the 911 call.

During closing arguments on Monday, Deputy District Attorney Michael Regan asked the judge to throw out testimony of two doctors who testified for the defense. Sudden infant death syndrome and dysphagia, a condition that indicates difficulty swallowing, were among possible factors in the infant's death that they suggested. Regan claimed those doctors were "ignoring the obvious."

Regan said Martin's version of events "just makes no sense." She said she changed the baby's diaper, left him for about 30 seconds to throw the diaper away while he was crying and returned to find him unresponsive.

"This is a classic of abusive head trauma from a classic source that will not admit it because the worst taboo in all of the world, more than murdering an adult or sexually abusing a child, is killing a child," Regan said. "It's so taboo that you can't admit it to yourself. And so (Martin) hasn't. And she won't, she'll never believe it."

Defense attorney Shannon Kmetic noted that her client has been as forthcoming as possible about what happened.

There is "no good reason," Kmetic said, to disregard the testimony of the two doctors. Both are reputable sources, including one who co-founded a child abuse team, she said.

If the baby happened to have been treated by one of the defense team doctors, the medical evidence could have led doctors to a different diagnosis of his death, Kmetic said.

"And that is the medical controversy," Kmetic said. "Those two different results are a big, big, big problem. There is reasonable doubt in this case."

In delivering the verdict Wednesday, the judge said he "would have to go completely and utterly off the rails" to reach similar conclusions as the defense team doctors. He noted that 17 doctors and at least four paramedics worked on the boy and that several tests ruled out asphyxia, any pre-existing conditions, illnesses and disorders as factors in his death.

Herndon said he found no faults with the infant's care under the emergency medical technicians and that all evidence showed they did the best they could to try to revive him with the information they received from Martin. She could have provided different information to them and police at any point, but didn't, he said.

"You just can't ignore the evidence and the science in this case," he said.

-- Everton Bailey Jr.
http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-cit...art_river_home
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:36 PM
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I have to go wake my infants and hug them now.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by laundrymom View Post
I have to go wake my infants and hug them now.
I know, it's so sad.

Those poor parents.
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