Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dad in frozen toddler case to take the stand (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

More on the murder trial of dad WILLIAM PAIGE, who is accused of sexually abusing his 2-year-old daughter, then leaving her outside to freeze to death.

Father In Frozen Toddler Case To Take Stand
William Page Accused Of Killing Daughter In February 2007

POSTED: 12:06 pm EDT March 16, 2010
UPDATED: 7:18 pm EDT March 16, 2010

PITTSBURGH -- The father accused of leaving his two year old daughter to die in the freezing cold is expected to take the witness stand this week.

WTAE Channel 4 Action News reporter Bob Mayo was in the courtroom for the continuing testimony in the case against William Page.

In a recorded confession played for the court on Monday, Page admits to drinking heavily on the night of his 23-month-old daughter Nyia's death and kicking her in frustration over the toddler repeatedly taking off her diaper.

Listen: William Page Taped Confession (Warning: Contains Some Profanity)

Defense attorney Chris Patarini has told the jury that they shouldn't believe what they hear on the tape because of circumstances -- which he says will be explained later -- that Page was under at the time he gave the confession.

Page, of Braddock, is accused of leaving his young girl outside in the freezing cold in February 2007.

Nyia Page's body was found in a wooded area of Rankin. Police testimony revealed that she managed to walk 125 feet toward the Hawkins Village apartments before succumbing in 12-degree temperatures.

At some point before this trial ends, Page is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

On Tuesday morning, a prosecution DNA expert testified that Nyia Page's blood was found on several items of evidence including underwear, a T-shirt, a bed sheet and a Terrible Towel. The expert also said both Nyia and William Page's DNA, but no blood, was found on the girl's diaper.

Also Tuesday, a wilderness expert testified for the prosecution, saying Nyia could have survived one and a half to four hours at the most in the frigid cold.

On Monday, the jury viewed photos of the toddler's autopsy. An expert on child abuse has testified that Nyia's autopsy photos showed signs of penetrating trauma.

The images brought a warning from Judge David Cashman because of their graphic nature.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

The district attorney's office is seeking the death penalty.

Previous Stories:
•March 15, 2010: Court Sees Autopsy Photos, Hears Confession In Frozen Toddler Case
•March 12, 2010: Testimony Details Frozen Toddler's Death In Rankin
•March 11, 2010: Jury Hears About Dad's 'Strange' Crying In Frozen Toddler Trial
•February 22, 2010: Jury Selection Continues In Frozen Toddler Death Trial
•May 3, 2008: Volunteers Finish Memorial Garden For 2-Year-Old Girl
•May 3, 2008: Volunteers Finish Memorial Garden
•February 9, 2007: Funeral Held For Accused Father's Little Girl
•February 5, 2007: Missing Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide