Dorsey Declined to Enter Plea During His Initial Arraignment – Darnell Dorsey made his first appearance in court since his arrest on what is now developing into a homicide investigation. He declined to enter a plea and is due back in court March 18, at which time he would enter a plea.
The next hearing, March 18, will be in Department 1 as the case was assigned to Judge Paul Richardson. Bail is set at $1 million.
Mr. Dorsey, 21, faces three charges including child abuse resulting in death and two violations of probation from previously misdemeanor convictions. However, police told the Vanguard that this case is now being investigated as a homicide.
On January 22, at 11:47 PM, in the parking lot of Dutch Bros. Coffee (located at the corner of Richards Boulevard and Olive Drive in Davis) a mother presented her 19-month-old child to an AMR ambulance crew for treatment. The patient was unresponsive and appeared seriously injured. He was transported to the UCD Medical Center for emergency care.
Davis Police were immediately called out and began an investigation. On January 23, officers arrested Darnell Dangelo Dorsey (a 21-year-old Sacramento man) for felony child endangerment and booked him into the Yolo County Jail. Dorsey is the mother’s boyfriend, and believed to be responsible for the victim’s injuries.
On January 25, at approximately 1:30 PM, the child victim succumbed to his injuries and passed away at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
As the Vanguard earlier reported, the Vanguard had learned of a two-year-old baby who was taken to Sutter Davis Hospital the night before, after being found unresponsive when the mother returned home from the gym. The woman’s boyfriend, Darnell Dorsey, was home with the two children at the time when the incident occurred. The child was rushed to Sutter Davis Hospital where he had X-rays and a CAT scan done.
The baby’s grandmother told the Vanguard that the three-year-old sibling had said,”Daddy hit him in the head and he got sick.” The CAT scan revealed injuries conducive to what is known as “shaken baby syndrome.”
In the morning the baby’s grandmother was notified by her daughter, the mother of the toddler, that doctors said there was no blood flow to the baby’s brain. He remained on life support at the intensive care unit of UCD Hospital. The doctors also found damage to the baby’s bladder and other fractures around the body.
The family reported on Monday that the baby suffered from a lacerated liver, hemorrhaging to his brain and had broken ribs in various stages of healing from previous abuse.
Mr. Dorsey is being represented by private attorney Jessica Graves.
Antoinnette Borbon and Katherine Gonzales contributed to this report
Motion For New Trial in Ellis Denied
On Monday, Judge Stephen Mock denied defense attorney Joseph Gocke’s motion for a new trial in the case of Kevin Ellis, who was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation in a trial covered by the Vanguard.
The defense learned that a juror had been discussing the details of the case during trial. A woman, who refers to herself as “Eagle Eye” on the Vanguard website, posted these details on the Vanguard and it came to the attention of the defense.
Eagle Eye would testify at a special hearing that she talked with the juror about the case, and that every day her neighbor/juror would come home rather upset and would give information about the trial in which she was a juror.
She stated that the juror had appeared to have already made up her mind once she heard testimony from the two young boys about being molested, and that the defendant Kevin Ellis was in fact guilty.
Judge Mock on Monday dissembled the testimony of the woman, Ms. Skinner, that she told to the public defender’s office investigator, Aaron Bohrer, that she was certain of the guilt of the defendant after the boy testified.
Judge Mock noted that the point in question was whether the woman knew immediately after the testimony, which could be construed as prejudgment, or whether looking back in hindsight, she felt that was the determining issue for her.
Judge Mock stated that he is skeptical of the conclusion that the juror prejudged evidence, as that would have required her to stop listening to an additional five days of evidence.
In her testimony she took meticulous notes of each witness and summarized their testimony. The judge argued that in his experience, the fact that she might find the testimony emotional and important does not mean she stopped listening and turned off her mind to the remainder of evidence.
He viewed her comments more in a hindsight fashion, that, looking back, this was a hindsight assessment. She had said, “I came into the case with an open mind, but all evidence led me towards guilt.”
Judge Mock looked into the defense’s cited case, Roberson v. City of Los Angeles. However, in that case, he argued, they had contemporaneous statements by all of the jurors of prejudice by the juror in question and the trial judge did not believe the juror’s testimony.
Judge Mock ruled that was not the case here and denied the motion for new trial. Mr. Ellis is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.
The Vanguard previously reported that Eagle Eye had testified that on one occasion Ms. Skinner was so upset from nightmares that she could not sleep. She stated she was told this by another neighbor.
But when the juror took the stand, it was somewhat of a different story. Ms. Skinner would tell that she only made mention a couple times and denied being that upset. She went on to say that her neighbor was the one who would wait for her arrival and then ask questions about the trial. Ms. Skinner testified that she would try to avoid her as much as possible so she would not have to talk about the trial.
She stated that Eagle Eye had a bit of a fascination for court trials and liked to hear what was going on every day.
But Ms. Skinner did admit to giving her neighbor friend, Eagle Eye, a copy of the article in the paper about the trial she was a juror for.
Chief Investigator for the Public Defender’s office, Aaron Bohrer, had gone out to take the statement himself from Ms. Skinner and subpoenas were given to the two ladies. He stated that Ms. Skinner did mention her neighbor/Eagle Eye being somewhat nosy.
Ms. Skinner stated on the stand that she felt she had been impartial and fair in her decision with the verdict and had not made up her mind earlier. However, she admitted that after hearing the boys’ testimonies she was upset.
Antoinnette Borbon contributed to this report
—David M. Greenwald reporting