Dad RACHIN MCCOY is being tried on 1st-degree murder charges in the death of his 6-week-old daughter. The baby died from blunt force trauma to the head, but had been abused from the beginning of her sad short life, as documented by the MULTIPLE rib fractures that were found during her autopsy.
Med. examiner: Fall didn't cause baby Naiomi's injuries
2:22 PM Fri, Nov 20, 2009
By Talia Buford
Journal Staff Writer
NEWPORT, R.I. -- The injuries that ultimately killed six-week-old Naiomi McCoy earlier this year could not have been caused by a simple fall, a state medical examiner testified Friday morning.
Dr. Alexander Chirkov testified in the second day of evidence in a bail hearing for Rachin McCoy, Naiomi's father and the man accused of fatally abusing the child to death. He is charged with first-degree murder and has been held without bail since his arrest in January.
During Naiomi's autopsy on Jan. 31, Chirkov said that he found fractures on 17 of Naiomi's ribs that had been caused within days of her death. He also found 5 older, healed rib fractures, he testified.
"The rib fractures were the result of symmetrical pressure," Chirkov testified. "It would not have been caused by a fall."
In the days after Naiomi's death, Rachin McCoy told a cousin and police detective that he'd dropped his daughter as he stood on the couch playfully throwing her in the air.
Using photographs from the autopsy, Chirkov explained some of the injuries he found during Naiomi's examination. The autopsy also revealed that Naiomi had irregularly shaped blue bruising on the left side of her skull, behind her ear and toward the back of her head.
A large bump on the top of the left side of her head was a skull fracture, Chirkov testified. The fracture was severe enough to cause blood and brain matter to accumulate between Naiomi's skull and her scalp, something that does not happen in all skull fractures, Chirkov testified.
There was also damage to the nerves in both of Naiomi's eyes, as well as retinal hemmorhaging, another sign of severe injury, Chirkov testified.
Ultimately, Chirkov ruled that Naiomi died of fatal child abuse syndrome as a result of blunt-force injuries to the head. He was unable to identify the object that caused the bruising to Naiomi's head, but did say that it was a flat object.
Chirkov said he attributed the death to child abuse because even though previous medical records for the infant showed no signs of abuse, the older rib fractures, coupled with the more recent ones, showed that the child had repeated injuries.
Friday afternoon, the court still has to continue the testimony of Newport police Detective Kevin Sullivan, who took the stand Thursday. This morning, the court agreed to take Chirkov's testimony out of order in the name of efficiency.