Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dad charged with beating 6-year-old daughter with a belt blames her "thyroid condition" for bruising (Columbus, Ohio)

Thyroid? Are you kidding me? Thyroid disease runs in my family, so I am pretty familiar with the issues. I have never heard of bruising all over your body from a thyroid condition.

So I call bullsh**.

Dad is identified as BRANDON WALLIS. Notice that there is no mention of a mother in the home or anywhere in this story for that matter. What happened to Mom?


Published: May 7, 2013 Updated 1 hour ago

Defense claims thyroid condition caused bruising, not father's spanking


Defense attorneys for the former Little League coach accused of badly bruising his 6-year-old daughter with a belt claim the child has a thyroid condition that makes her bruise easily and may have got the injuries playing at a baseball field.

But the pediatrician who examined the girl in 2011 felt that explanation could not possibly explain the marks he saw on the child’s body: “These marks were something traumatic that happened to her,” said Dr. Mark Oliver of Rivertown Pediatrics.

He was among the first witnesses in the case against Brandon Wallis, whose accused of beating his daughter repeatedly with a belt in September 2011. He is charged with first-degree child cruelty.

Defense attorney William Kendrick pressed Oliver to say he could not “rule out” hypothyroidism as a factor in the girl’s bruising, but Oliver would not.

“In my professional opinion, I rule it out,” the physician emphasized.

The pediatrician examined Wallis' daughter on Sept. 11, 2011, the day after she was whipped while in her father's care.

He acknowledged he did not test the girl’s thyroid hormone levels while examining her bruises, but said he did not think such testing was warranted. The child showed no other symptoms those hormone levels were off, and she told him what had happened as soon as he asked, he said, quoting her saying, “I got spanked.” He asked with what. “A belt,” he said she replied.

As jurors saw photographs of broad, square, purple bruises on the girl’s buttocks, Oliver told them: “There are so many blows here that to me it all coalesced together.” The jury also saw images of linear marks on her lower back and thighs.

“This was worse than any spanking I had ever seen, in my opinion,” Oliver said.

He also testified that Wallis came to his office this past March to question him about the child’s thyroid condition, asking both whether elevated or lowered hormone levels could have caused the bruises. Oliver, who said he told Wallis then the girl’s thyroid condition wasn’t a factor, testified that to him Wallis seemed to be “reaching for things” and persisted in pursuing the thyroid angle. “I could go on,” the doctor said of Wallis’ questioning.

Wallis’ other attorney, Mark Shelnutt, promised in his opening statement to the jury today that the defense would show the whipping didn’t cause the injuries: “We’re going to prove to you there’s no way a belt caused these injuries,” he pledged.

He said that while the girl was with her father on Sept. 10, 2011, he took her to a Little League practice where she and other kids played upon a rocky slope and smacked each other with tree limbs, which could have caused some of her bruises.