Dad BRIAN VERRY has been found guilty of child abuse and felony assault in the 2006 attack on his then 2-month-old daughter. The medical evidence suggests that he had been abusing her almost from birth, as some of the baby's injuries were 3 - 4 weeks old.
BREAKING NEWS: Father found guilty of abusing infant in 2006
By Iain Wilson/Independent Staff Writer
WAKEFIELD – Brian Verry, wearing a black suit and wire-rimmed glasses, stared stoically ahead as a jury in Washington County Superior Court announced that they had found him guilty of physically abusing his infant daughter in 2006.
Verry, 34, of846 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown was found guilty on Friday afternoon on the three charges he faced: first-degree child abuse, felony assault and simple assault of his then-two-month-old daughter, Abigail.
In March of 2006, Abigail was admitted to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence after Verry noticed severe swelling on the right side of her head. At Hasbro, it was determined that Abigail had suffered from numerous fractures of varying age and severity. At the time of admittance, Abigail was also suffering from subgaleal and subdural hemorrhages in her skull, which had caused her to lose large amounts of blood.
During the trial, jurors heard from medical experts, who testified that the injuries Abigail sustained were very common in child abuse cases.
”It’s a very emotional case, and a very difficult case,” said his lawyer, Richard K. Corley, after the verdict was announced. “Unfortunately, Brian was convicted. An appeal will be filed and some day maybe Brian will be vindicated.”
For the child abuse charge, Verry is facing a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000. The felony assault charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, and the simple assault conviction could result in up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Pre-sentencing reports are due on Feb. 14, and sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 18 in Washington County Superior Court in Wakefield.
In testimony earlier this week, Abigail’s mother and Verry’s ex-wife, Megan Verry, said that while she worked with her father, Brian sat with Abigail on a glider rocker in the living room before taking a shower. Brian walked into the room where she was working at around 11:40 p.m. and asked her to take a look at Abigail. “She had a monstrous growth coming out of her head,” Megan Verry testified.
Megan said that during the hour Brian had Abigail she heard no sounds of impact or crying from the baby, with the exception of the glider chair clicking into place. After seeing the lump on Abigail’s head, the couple rushed her to South County Hospital in Wakefield, and then to Hasbro. The baby was admitted to Hasbro with an 8-mm fracture in her skull and more than 30 broken bones in her body. She was hospitalized until April.
At the time, the couple was residing at 64 Houston Ave. in Narragansett, with Megan’s father.
A video presented to the jury on Tuesday showed Verry demonstrating to members of the Narragansett Police how the baby’s head had hit the rocker.
During the trial, medical experts testified that a review of the MRI, CT Scans and X-rays showed evidence of 16 fractures in the infant’s skull, ribs, clavicle and legs that were in various stages of healing, indicating some of the breaks were recent, while others were three to four weeks old.
When she was admitted to the hospital, Abigail was also suffering from several classic metaphyseal lesions, or “corner fractures,” that are closely associated with child abuse, testified Dr. Carole Jenny, the director of the Child Protection Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Jenny said these types of injuries usually result from twisting or pulling of extremities on young infants.
On Friday, Associate Justice Edwin Gale ordered Verry be held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston, and ordered he undergo psychiatric examinations as soon as possible.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Regine suggested that Verry be held without bail, citing comments Verry had made about entertaining suicidal thoughts while he was incarcerated for violating probation for a 2004 larceny charge.
In arguing that Verry be released on terms of bail, Corley said that his client had appeared in court whenever he was required, and that in the years since the charges, he had not been a nuisance to society. Gale denied the request, saying that although Verry was a “model defendant,” he still posed a risk to himself and the community.
Megan Verry wept as Brian Verry was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs and she left the courtroom quickly with her mother, Jane Dwyer, and other supporters.
“I believe the judge held Brian without bail because of the mandatory jail sentence that goes with the conviction under the statute, not because of what the state said,” Corley said.
It was the second time that Verry had stood trial for the charges. In April, a mistrial was declared after the jury could not come to a unanimous decision.