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  1. #1
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    OK - Hayden Wierz, 4, found dead in bathtub, Ponca City, 16 July 2012

    Examiner's autopsy report on Ponca City body. (Tulsa World)
    A defense lawyer calls it "witness tampering," but a prosecutor says no pressure was used.
    PONCA CITY —- Police and a state child abuse review board asked the state Medical Examiner's Office to consider changing its autopsy findings in the death of a 4-year-old Ponca City boy last year.
    ---
    During a meeting last year with police and prosecutors, a member of a state board that reviews child deaths said he planned to talk to the medical examiner about changing the autopsy report of Hayden Wierz. The medical examiner's office ruled Hayden's death July 16, 2012, was due to drowning and of an "undetermined" nature, rather than a homicide.
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    The first-degree murder case in Kay County against Hayden Wierz's father — Michael Wierz — is cloaked in secrecy.
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    Wierz told police he fell asleep after running a bath for his son, who had soiled himself, and awoke to find the boy dead in the bathtub.

    The Sept. 18, 2012, autopsy by the state Medical Examiner's Office ruled the boy's cause of death was drowning due to "multiple injuries, likely that of a canine attack." The report also notes "numerous traumatic injuries of the head, chest and abdomen," including two cracked ribs.

    Wierz told police the family pit bull jumped on Hayden and bit him earlier in the day as the boy held a cat, knocking him down several stairs. The autopsy noted several bite marks and scratches on his body.
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    Other relatives told police the boy was autistic, prone to injury and on several medications for ADHD and autism.

    Police and an emergency room doctor said Hayden's body was covered with bruises and that they suspected abuse, records show.
    ---
    very lengthy article at link above

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Oct 20th, 2014-
    "It took a Kay County jury three hours on Monday to find Michael Anthony Wierz, 30, guilty of first degree murder child abuse in the death of his son, four-year-old Hayden Matthew Wierz, on July 16, 2012. "
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...37888652936318

  4. #4
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    Death review:
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Some background info:

    In a videotaped interview with police, Wierz sobbed and said he felt responsible for his son’s death.

    “It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have let him take a bath by himself,” an emotional Wierz states on the taped interview...

    Wierz told Ponca City police that as the water ran, “I went to my room and sat down watching TV” and fell asleep. He said he got up “10 or 15 minutes later” to check on the boy and found him underwater. He later acknowledged he could have been sleeping much longer.

    An emergency room physician told police “it appeared to me that this child had been dead for awhile.” The doctor also said the boy had many bruises that looked “suspicious.”

    Wierz said he pulled his son’s body out of the tub but accidentally dropped the boy. Then he said he began to perform CPR and called his wife.

    Police would later question why he didn’t call 911. Wierz said he was performing CPR and just hit redial for the last number called.

    Becky Wierz told police her husband called and was frantic and crying, telling her to come home but didn’t say why. She raced to the house, calling Wierz’s mother, Teresa Tapp, on the way...

    Records show a domestic assault and battery charge was filed against Wierz one month after his son’s death but dropped because his wife declined to cooperate.
    http://m.newsok.com/death-of-boy-4-c...rticle/3912381

    r620-caa02d83458f8c459f12e4b292477f67.jpg

  7. #7
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    Kyle Tapp said Hayden's death "was an accident — unfortunately an accident with fatal results."
    "My biggest concern is the political people here in this area are trying to make it their own personal mission to see to it he gets put away for the rest of his life," Tapp said.
    One motion filed in the case alleges that the investigating detective has a personal grudge against the family due to a fight he had with Tapp 30 years ago. Other records allege Wierz was assaulted in jail by a relative of the detective, who had tried to get him to talk about the case.
    http://m.tulsaworld.com/news/local/c....html?mode=jqm

  8. #8
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    In a separate civil proceeding, prosecutors moved to terminate Wierz's parental rights to his surviving child, a 6-year-old daughter. After a three-day trial in May, a jury terminated his parental rights, finding him guilty of child neglect but not abuse of his son, records show....

    In the two weeks following Hayden's death, police and Department of Human Services workers interviewed his sister, 6-year-old Kylie, three times, records show. Each time she told essentially the same story: She was asleep, and her brother died in the bathtub.
    "I have not seen anyone be mean to my brother," she told police.
    Breanna Wierz told police she had called her son several times during his visit with his dad "and he was having fun." She told police that she and her husband separated due to "domestic violence."
    http://m.tulsaworld.com/news/local/c....html?mode=jqm

  9. #9
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    So now they're saying that the 6 year old sister could have killed him? Nice.


    [Defense lawyer] Palmer claims Wierz did not kill his son, and at the worst, was neglectful. Wierz told police he fell asleep after running the boy’s bath water, which was hot to the touch, so he decided to let it cool before bathing his son. The home’s plumbing was in need of repair and the cold water did not work properly, Tapp said.

    In the meantime, the boy reportedly wandered into the bathroom, stepped into the tub and drowned, the defense team claimed. His grandmother, Teresa Tapp, told Red Dirt Report Hayden “loved the water.”...

    Palmer contends some of the bruises likely occurred when Wierz tried to apply CPR to his son after he was awakened by his 6-year-old daughter, who later confided in a teenage cousin that she killed her brother. The sister reportedly told her mother after arriving from her home in Texas, “When Bubba went away, all our troubles went away.”
    http://www.reddirtreport.com/red-dir...ed-family-says

  10. #10
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    They would be able to tell if some of the bruises were older than others so the dog story, even if it's true doesn't completely cover up earlier abuse. And falling down several stairs isn't going to result in cracked ribs and traumatic head injuries. But yes, let's make the 6yo take the blame.


  11. #11
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    March 2016:

    Appeals court rejects claims judge made bad rulings in Wierz murder case

    http://www.reddirtreport.com/red-dir...rz-murder-case

    Michael Wierz sat in a Lawton Correctional Center cell last month expecting his murder conviction appeal would be denied and he was right. Admittedly disappointed, the former U.S. Army hero isn’t relinquishing hope for a new trial.

    “He kinda figured out that was how it would turn out at the state level,” Wierz’s stepfather Kyle Tapp said. “He’s holding on to the appeal at the federal level which is where most of the appeals were centered since they were constitutional issues.”

    Seven reasons for a new trial were made to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, but each one was rejected.
    In the unanimous 5-0 ruling, Lumpkin wrote, “We find the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to continue an already extended trial where appellant has failed to show any resulting prejudice. The record shows that appellant was able to thoroughly present his defense without the live testimony of Dr. Choi.”

    The appeals court also rejected arguments that the trial judge allowed improper admission of bad character evidence and that the jury was allowed to hear improper opinion testimony from the emergency room physician and two Ponca City police officers.

    “Testimony from Dr. Ross that this was the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen was also properly admitted as based upon his specialized knowledge and experience as an emergency room doctor treating many cases of child abuse during his 12-year career,” Lumpkin wrote.

    The court also rejected appeals arguments that Palmer did not provide effective counsel and that the life in prison sentence was too harsh.

    “Under the facts and circumstances of this case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s request to suspend any part of his sentence and the statutory minimum sentence imposed is not so excessive as to shock the conscience,” Lumpkin wrote in the opinion.



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