In what would now be the third week of an emotionally charged trial, the prosecution would seem to leave little room for a reasonable doubt.
Quentin Stone has been charged with causing his infant’s death in October of 2012. Quentin Stone is the father accused of “shaking” his two-month-old baby, which potentially may have caused the baby’s death. The trial involves the contention that three-month-old Samuel Stone died from injuries that included bleeding in his brain, retinal hemorrhages and fractured ribs, and has left many questioning the charges at hand.
In the x-rays taken of baby Stone, there were fractures, and two doctors have now testified that “this type of fracture comes from compression, a squeezing around the rib cage.”
But according to a pathologist, Dr. Organo, it was not just the rib fractures so much as the type of severe trauma to the brain in the areas of both the subdural and subarachnoid parts. Dr. Organo stated that he ran several tests to rule out other medical conditions. He said, “He had low sodium and was anemic but they were not causes.” He also explained that the baby was negative for any blood disorders or vitamin deficiencies, or brittle bone disease that could have caused the type of injuries found. However, he told the prosecution that these were only his interpretations.
The doctor expressed that he could not answer certain theoretical questions which defense counsel posed. But he asserted, from several findings, the cause of death was not accidental.
He said the multiple contusions could not have come from a fall or seizures, and “the CT scans and MRI reports, show abnormalities, deformations consistent to blows, severe trauma and most kids are resilient.”
He stated, “It is really not possible to have suffered this trauma and lived with no signs for several days.”
In cross, the defense asked if the doctor knew about the baby vomiting, going limp and not visually tracking after the initial fall in September, and he replied, “No, ’til the autopsy, and I read all the medical reports.” Defense attorney Martha Sequeira asked Dr. Organo if he had ever viewed the x-rays, and he answered, “No, just read reports.”
DDA Steve Mount questioned Organo about the possibility of the types of injuries stemming from a fall. The doctor stated if the baby had fallen onto an object, causing the bleeds on the brain and fractures, there would have been a focal point. He said there would have been visible bruising near the location of where he had hit and the findings did not show any location.
“Bleeding was on both hemispheres and in the retinas that have only been seen in non-accidental injuries,” Organo stated.
The doctor was asked again by DDA Mount, “So what would you say is the cause of death?” Dr. Organo asserted once again, “Non-accidental brain trauma.”
The defense called a couple of witnesses out of order this afternoon, in the interest of time as prosecution awaited their last witness for the day.
Carrie Willis, a close friend of Sara and Quentin Stone, testified to the behavior of Sara and Quentin in the years they had been friends. Carrie stated she was excited to be pregnant the same time Sara Stone was and amazed they were both carrying twins. Carrie, breaking down in tears, said, “I…I was just ecstatic! I…I was so happy to be pregnant the same time as my best friend.”
The defense asked if she knew what kind of father and husband Quentin was, and she said, “He was amazing, attentive, supportive and loving.” Carrie replied.
“So would you trust him with your kids?” Sequeira asks, “Yes, I would,” answered Carrie.
“And have you ever seen him yell or snap at his wife or the kids? Did Quentin ever act like Sara’s success bothered him?” asked the defense.
“No, never, he was always supportive.”
Another witness, Ann Bullis, testified to being around the couple. But Ms. Bullis stated that Quentin was like a son to her [she could have been an in law], someone she trusted and who had always been a good husband and loving, concerned father.
“Do you know what Quentin is being accused of?” asked Deputy Public Defender Sequeira. “Yes, and I think it’s tragic,” replied Bullis.
The prosecution had no cross for either witness.
Last to take the stand was the captain of the Woodland Fire Department. He testified to arriving about 5 min, 33 seconds after being dispatched. He said once he arrived at the residence on Bartlett, he found Quentin lying next to the baby, holding his hand. He stated Quentin told him the baby had been like that for about ten minutes. Quentin told him the baby had seizure-like symptoms, gurgling, and then became unresponsive.
The fire captain said the ambulance arrived about a minute later. He said, “The house was clean and Quentin was nervous, scared over the baby but was able to tell me about his toddler pulling or pushing the infant off the bed and since then he had been vomiting and going limp.”
He testified that he did not see signs of CPR done on the baby. “Oxygen was being given to the baby by EMT.” He said the baby had a gurgling noise coming out of his mouth with labored breathing.
Defense asked what Quentin was doing while he was on the floor next to his baby. “He was holding his hand,” he answered.
The day ended with the fire captain.