Monday, May 5, 2014

Dad finally goes on trial for murder in 2009 beating death of 7-year-old son; had started beating him as soon as awarded summer visitation (Worcester, Massachusetts)

Unbelievable. This is one of the first cases we started tracking here at Dastardly Dads back in 2009, and LESLIE G. SCHULER STILL hasn't been brought to trial. Dad had just been awarded summer visitation after ignoring the boy his whole life. He then started to "allegedly" beat him almost immediately, before the boy finally died on...Father's Day.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cause of 7-year-old's death could be point of contention in Worcester father's murder trial


WORCESTER — The cause of Nathaniel Turner's death is expected to be at issue in the trial of Leslie G. Schuler, the boy's father, who stands accused of murdering the 7-year-old on Father's Day 2009.

Testimony is tentatively scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Worcester Superior Court case, but the prosecution could start calling witnesses to the stand sooner if jury selection proceeds more quickly than anticipated.

Nine jurors were chosen Thursday and jury selection is to resume Monday morning. A total of 16 jurors, including four alternates, is to be seated. Jury impanelment was suspended Friday because Judge Daniel M. Wrenn, who is presiding over the trial, had a prior commitment.

Mr. Schuler, 41, formerly of 13 Arline St., is alleged to have fatally beaten his son on June 21, 2009, after the child came to Worcester from Alabama to spend the summer with him. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.

"It's a cause-of-death issue," his lawyer, Alan J. Black, told Judge Wrenn during a hearing last week on pretrial motions in the case. Mr. Black also said he expected conflicting testimony during the trial about the age of certain injuries suffered by Nathaniel.

An autopsy determined the 7-year-old was the victim of blunt force trauma to the head, torso and extremities.

Dr. Jan E. Leestma, a neuropathologist from Chicago, is scheduled to testify as an expert witness for the defense in the case. The trial was postponed twice in the past because of Dr. Leestma's unavailability.

Tiffany N. Hyman, Mr. Schuler's fiancée at the time of the child's death, is awaiting trial on charges of permitting an assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury, reckless endangerment of a child and being an accessory, after the fact, to assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury. She also has pleaded not guilty.

Assistant District Attorney Courtney L. Sans told Judge Wrenn last week it had not been determined whether Ms. Hyman would testify as a prosecution witness in the case.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.