MS - Jeffrey Keith Havard appeals death sentence in shaken-baby case

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by PrayersForMaura, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. PrayersForMaura

    PrayersForMaura Help Find Maura Murray

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    Court hears Havard case Monday By julie finley
    The nAtchez DemocratNatchez — The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in the death sentence appeal of Jeffery Keith Havard.

    Havard was convicted and given the death penalty in 2002 for the murder of 6-month-old Chloe Madison Britt in Adams County.

    This step in the appeal process is typical procedure for any death penalty case, District Attorney Ronnie Harper has said...

    During the trial prosecutors argued that Chloe’s injuries were caused by shaken baby syndrome, but also said she had been sexually abused.

    Rebecca Britt was out of the house on the night of her daughter’s death, but returned to find her not breathing. She took the baby to Natchez Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

    More: http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/articles/2005/12/12/news/news35.txt
     
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  3. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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  4. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    Note: Liam Neeeson is an actor whose wife, Natasha Richardson, was in Canada on a skiing trip, she skied into a tree. The paramedics were called and she joked, saying she was fine; just a bump on her head. 8 hours later, she was unconscious, and 48 hours later after being flown to New York City, was pronounced dead. This is similar to Cry and Die Syndrome in babies, which is what all evidence points to in Chloe’s case.
     
  5. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    Not done reading, but I smell a rat.

    In order to reach the charge of capital murder, there had to be an underlying felony. After discussing the situation with the ER nurses and doctors, the decision was made to charge Jeff with felonious child abuse and sexual battery — the two underlying felonies that allowed them to charge Jeff with capital murder, punishable by death in Mississippi. Jeff would shortly be indicted on these charges.
     
  6. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    The coroner transported the child’s body to the morgue. Jeff was whisked away by police, some time prior to the child dying, perhaps around 10:45 pm. Rebecca was taken by police to give a statement some time after Chloe died, which was at 10:55 pm. The police had their minds made up, and instructed Rebecca and her parents, Lillian Watson and Johnny Watson, to give written statements that Thursday night. Additionally, Rebecca would give a video statement the following day, Friday.
    Jeff was interviewed briefly and was the only person not asked to provide a written statement or a video statement the night the child died. The only thing he signed that night was the consent to search form and an acknowledgment that he had received his Miranda rights.
    Jeff, at this point being temporarily detained under suspicion under arrest for capital murder, was placed in a cell by himself and remained there until about 2:37 am when police finally came to talk to him. On Saturday, the 23rd, Jeff was formally arrested and charged with capital murder.
    But on Thursday night, they put Jeff in a cell and seized his clothing, gave him standard issue jail clothing. They did not attempt to speak to Jeff until around 2:37 am, and at that point in time they only took a very brief statement from him — a “general oral statement.” The written statement and video statement was not taken until 2 days later on the Saturday, the 23rd, and only after Jeff flagged down a jailor and told the jailor that he wanted to speak with deputies. This was after they had already “formally arrested” him for capital murder.
    Basically, the police had their minds made up on what they wanted to do, and didn't care what Jeff had to say; they just wanted him to sign the consent form .
     
  7. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    The medical examiner that perform the autopsy, Dr. Steven Hayne, did not even mention sexual assault anywhere in the autopsy, and the defense later learned in 2010 that it was because he never saw any evidence of a sexual assault. Dr. Hayne is a pathologist and expert on sexual assault. Dr. Hayne was the only expert witness the state called at the time of trial and was the only witness qualified to testify as to whether or not a sexual assault may have occurred. The witnesses that did testify sexual battery had occurred, the ER staff, were not tendered as expert witnesses during the trial, although “expert testimony” was elicited from them by Prosecutor Harper.
    When he was asked on the witness stand what the condition of the child’s anus was “indicative of” Hayne responded that it was “consistent with … penetration by an object.” Prosecuting Attorney Ronnie Harper rushed through his questioning of Dr. Hayne, and defense counsel Sermos and Clark were to uninformed to properly cross examine him, so Dr. Hayne never had the opportunity to mention there may have been a bevy of other causes of the anal dilation. When asked if it “could have” been sexual battery, Hayne merely testified that the condition of the child’s anus was “consistent” with penetration by an object.
    Dr. Hayne did clarify what he meant back in 2002 in his 2010 deposition:
    Question by Habeas Counsel Mark Jicka: “From your standpoint, and from your expertise, you cannot say that this child was sexually abused, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, is that correct?“
    Dr. Hayne’s answer: “I could not now and I could not then, either at the trial or when I wrote the report, or discussed the case with the coroner.“
    It’s not what Hayne testified to; it’s what wasn’t asked of him by defense counsel Gus Sermos and Robert Clark. Hayne later, after trial, said there were no signs of sexual abuse. The jury was led to believe Chloe was torn apart, ripped end to end, and had brain injuries. Defense counsel did nothing to refute this.
    The jury actually did see photographs of the child’s anus. Prosecutor Harper showed each and every medical witness the State’s exhibit #5, which was the photograph that was taken by Dr. Hayne during autopsy. Each and every witness said that what they saw at the hospital was much worse. Had Dr. Hayne simply been properly cross-examined by defense counsel, the outcome may have very well been different.
    Hayne is no longer permitted to practice medicine in the state of Mississippi. Hayne stated during his deposition in 2010 that he did not put sexual assault in his autopsy report because he did not see any evidence of that.
    Jeff’s lawyers, Gus Sermos and Robert Clark, didn’t understand the science involve with either Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) or the anal dilation, and needed an expert. They were denied an appointed expert. They thus had no expert to testify in Jeff’s defense to pose other ideas of what might have caused the anal dilation, and were too naive to cross-examine Dr. Hayne properly.

    http://www.occupyhln.org/wrongful-c...-death-row-inmate-jeffrey-havard-is-innocent/
     
  8. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    It's possible. I worked on a shaken baby case a few years ago. It's an evolving field, as what was once accepted as hard evidence of a shaken baby has been called into question scientifically and medically. Without an expert to review the evidence, I'm not sure how the defense could have proceeded with its case. Even though there are a few medico-legal textbooks that can provide guideposts for building a defense in these types of cases, you really need some sort of expert who can review the facts of the case you have. I know with our case, we had quite a few - an eye expert to evaluate retinal hemorrhage, a forensic pathologist, a radiologist, a forensic neuropathologist, and a pediatrician, all to evaluate different aspects of the medical records. I find it very suspect they were denied an expert.
     
  9. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    This Man Is on Death Row for Killing a 6-Month-Old. But What If We're Wrong About Shaken Baby Syndrome?

    "A controversial medical examiner, exaggerated testimony, and bad forensics branded Jeffrey Havard a rapist and a baby killer.

    Jeffrey Havard's story began the evening of February 21, 2002, when the Mississippi man was keeping an eye on Chloe, the 6-month-old daughter of his girlfriend, Rebecca Britt. According to Havard, Chloe had spit up on her clothes and bedding, so he gave the girl a bath. As he pulled her up out of the tub, she slipped from his grip and fell. As she fell, her head struck the toilet.

    Havard would later say the bump on Chloe's head didn't appear serious, so he dressed her in clean clothes and put her to bed. Not wanting to worry Britt (or perhaps not wanting to anger her), he said nothing about the incident when she returned. When she did get home, Britt checked on the baby, who seemed fine. So she and Havard ate dinner and went about their evening.

    Later that night, Chloe stopped breathing. Havard and Britt rushed her to a hospital. She died shortly thereafter..."

    https://reason.com/archives/2018/02/27/junk-science-branded-him-a-rap
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    Affidavit of biomechanical engineer Chris Van Ee, PhD:

    "...It would be biomechanically incorrect to dismiss the history of fall as a causal factor resulting in the findings described at autopsy. Shaking is a less likely explanation for these findings…

    The rotational forces attained in manual shaking cannot be equated to those occurring as a result of a multistory fall or a high speed motor vehicle accident. To suggest otherwise is without scientific foundation...."

    http://www.freejeffreyhavard.org/Ex_E_-_Van_Ee_Affidavit_with_CV.pdf
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    Science questioned in shaken-baby conviction

    "JACKSON, Miss. -- Thousands of Americans are behind bars, convicted of shaking babies to death — and some experts now say the science that put them there is blurry.

    Since 2000, at least 11 Mississippians have been convicted in such cases with two of them sitting on death row. Jeffrey Havard is one of them...

    In the years since, medical belief that the shaken-baby syndrome's triad of symptoms provided ironclad proof of homicide has begun to crumble with several studies raising doubts. Some biomechanical studies suggest shaking a baby to death would be impossible without also injuring the child's neck or spine...

    At the request of The Clarion-Ledger, New York pathologist Dr. Michael Baden read the autopsy report in the 2002 death of Chloe Madison Britt and examined other evidence in the case.

    "There is no autopsy or scientific evidence to support a diagnosis that Chloe died of shaken-baby syndrome," Baden said.

    Havard's description of accidentally dropping the baby is "entirely consistent" with the injuries found, Baden said.

    In an interview last week, Hayne, who concluded in his original autopsy that Chloe died of shaken-baby syndrome, acknowledged there is "growing evidence" such a diagnosis "is probably not correct."..."

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...uestioned-in-shaken-baby-conviction-/4642923/
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    Despite Evidence From Discredited Medical Examiner, Mississippi’s Jeffrey Havard Nears Execution

    Dec 06, 2017

    "...In March, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger showed Hayne’s autopsy report to renowned forensic pathologist Michael Baden. Baden found that Chloe Britt’s injuries were consistent with “the baby being accidentally dropped and striking her head on the toilet tank as the father described.” Like Lauridson, Baden also said there were many possible causes for the sort of anal bruise Hayne found, including constipation, diarrhea or friction from a diaper. Remarkably, even Hayne himself backed off from the testimony he gave at trial, conceding to Havard’s legal team that a rectal thermometer could have caused the bruise (though he maintained that it wasn’t likely). He also conceded that there was no anal tearing, and that what he had found in his autopsy was not necessarily conclusive of sexual assault. (Neither hospital staff nor Hayne found semen or any of Havard’s DNA in or near the girl’s rectum.)

    All of that still wasn’t enough to convince the Mississippi Supreme Court..."

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/radley-balko/steven-hayne-jeffrey-havard_b_2213976.html
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    Jeffrey Havard Death Row Interview

    Oct 15, 2013

    [video=youtube;aY1FOOAS16s]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY1FOOAS16s[/video]
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    Jeffrey Havard: Innocent On Death Row

    May 8, 2015

    [video=youtube;WHAFAiTzMOs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHAFAiTzMOs[/video]
    ---

    Judge: Decision on Harvard Case Approaches

    February 23, 2018

    "NATCHEZ- The judge who will decide the fate of a man on death row said Wednesday a decision should come in a couple of months...on whether Harvard deserves a new trial....."clearly by summer"..."

    https://m.natchezdemocrat.com/2018/02/23/judge-decision-on-havard-case-approaches/


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