Toddler Had 19 Blunt Force Injuries, Says Pathologist


Tribune Staff Reporter


A pathologist told jurors hearing evidence in a trial into the alleged murder of a two-year-old boy yesterday that the toddler died of some 19 blunt force injuries to the head and body.

Dr Caryn Sands testified about the autopsy she performed on Teon Morley within days of his death on August 16, 2013.

Of his many injuries, the doctor said the child had a swollen brain due to blood loss, a torn left kidney and internal bleeding.

As she spoke, the accused, Trevor Carey, sat in the prisoner’s dock behind his lawyer Lessiah Rolle listening to the evidence.

Carey, 23, was arraigned in August 2013 concerning the alleged beating death of the child. He was the boy’s mother’s boyfriend at the time of the incident.

The child was found unresponsive in his home around 3pm with injuries to his body.

Carey, however, denies the murder charge he faces.

Justice Cheryl Grant-Bethel presided over the case yesterday as a result of trial judge Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs’ absence.

Darell Taylor is prosecuting the case.

In yesterday’s proceedings, Ms Taylor asked Dr Sands if she had prepared a report of the autopsy she performed.

The pathologist said she had, as the report had been compiled from notes that she took at the time.

Ms Taylor asked the pathologist if she had determined the child’s cause of death.

Dr Sands said that the boy died as a result of blunt force injuries to the head, torso and extremities.

Specifically describing the head injuries, Dr Sands said there was bruising and a scrape on the left side of the boy’s face. Internally, there was bleeding on both sides of the scalp.

The physician said the boy’s brain had also swollen because of the blood loss, which was not normal.

Concerning injuries to the torso, Dr Sands said she noted bruises on the toddler’s chest, abdomen and back.

Inside the torso, there was bleeding over the spleen, his left kidney was torn from blunt force trauma and there was bleeding around both kidneys.

Bruises were also found on his bowels and blood vessels in the bowels, the court heard.

Some 150 millilitres of blood was found in the boy’s abdomen.

As for his extremities, Dr Sands said the boy had a bruise on the right forearm, bruises on the back of both hands, thighs, and knees.

She also found wounds on the torso and extremities that were nearly healed but said she could not be certain if they were non-accident injuries.

Ms Taylor asked for the pathologist to be shown photo no. 25 of the crime scene, which depicted the bed where the toddler was found.

“Is it possible that a child who rolls from a bed that high would receive those injuries?” the prosecutor asked.

“The pattern of injuries are such that it is not consistent with a child rolling out of a bed,” Dr Sands said.

“Is it consistent with allergies?” the prosecutor asked.

Dr Sands said no, adding: “You don’t get a torn kidney or bruised lung from allergies.”

The witness was then shown an image of a frying pan found at the Allen Drive home where the incident happened.

“Is it possible the injuries could’ve been caused by a frying pan?” the prosecutor further probed.

“Any blunt object delivered with significant force can cause the injuries detailed here. This (frying pan) is a blunt object,” Dr Sands replied.

Ms Taylor asked the pathologist how many injuries she found on the boy.

Dr Sands said there were four injuries to the head, nine to the torso and six to the extremities.

“That’s 19 in total,” the physician said.

In cross-examination, Mr Rolle asked the physician if she agreed that the bones of a toddler would be easier to break than those of an adult.

“I would not say that,” the physician said, explaining that the force needed to injure either an adult or child was relative.

Mr Rolle also asked if a child were to be hit with the rim of a frying pan would it be classified as a blunt object. The physician referred to her previous answer on relative force.

The trial resumes on Wednesday.

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