Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dad on trial for abusing SECOND baby "under his care" (Grand Haven, Michigan)

After being convicted of abusing his infant son back in 2008, why was dad RYAN KUPRES ever allowed around babies again? 

Notice that this POS wasn't married to the mother of this baby, his latest victim, and did not live with them either. It is not clear whether this visitation fiasco was court-imposed or "allowed" by the mother. Not that it matters much these days, as mothers are penalized by the family courts if they "gate keep" and keep their babies away from their father/owners.

Father with child abuse record waits for Ottawa County jury to decide latest case

By Heidi Fenton on March 07, 2013 at 12:19 PM, updated March 07, 2013 at 3:34 PM

GRAND HAVEN, MI — Two diagrams were posted to easels side-by-side Thursday in an Ottawa County courtroom: one, an image of Ryan Kupres’ son, Connor, in 2008, and the other, of his daughter, Layla, in 2012.

The images were marked with places where each child had suffered injuries. They looked strangely familiar. Red “X” marks stood out on both of each child’s knees, symbolizing fractures to bones. Red markings also colored images of each child’s head, symbolizing bleeding there.

Ryan Kupres, 28, already served prison time after he was convicted of first-degree child abuse for injuries Connor suffered four years ago. He faces a repeat of that experience if a jury convicts him of the same charge this week in Layla's case.

Jurors began deliberating about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 7, after the conclusion of Ryan Kupres’ trial for first-degree child abuse. Prosecutors allege he caused multiple injuries doctors found on Layla’s body when she arrived at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on March 31, 2012.

Doctors determined Layla had fractures in both of her legs, both shoulders and on her right tibia near the ankle. She had bleeding on her brain and along her spinal cord.

Jurors heard testimony this week from doctors, from Layla’s mother, Jessica Jones, and from the mother of Kupres’ son, Connor, the child previously injured through abuse.

They also heard from Ryan Kupres, who took the stand Wednesday in his own defense.

Kupres multiple times told the jury he did nothing — accidental or intentional — that would have caused Layla’s injuries.

But he acknowledged doctors were accurate in their description of the girl’s broken bones and said he had no knowledge that they were caused by anything anyone else did.

Assistant Ottawa County Prosecutor JoEllen Haas read from a series of text messages Kupres exchanged with Jones in March 2012, referencing bruising on Layla that Jones had noticed.

“This can’t keep happening,” Jones said in one message, after asking him where the bruising came from.

 Kupres replied: “It won’t keep happening.”

He’s admitted this is what he’s doing under his care,” Haas told jurors after reading the messages aloud during her closing statements Thursday. “What’s clear in this case is that Ryan Kupres cannot handle a crying baby.”

Contrary to what Kupres told jurors from the stand on Wednesday, Haas said, Layla did not vomit and fall limp because of sickness on March 30. She fell limp because Kupres shook her, frustrated with her continued cries.

Defense Attorney Philip Sielski urged jurors to consider testimony of when Kupres was at work the last week of March 2012, and the little time he had alone with Layla. He lived with his mother, who often assisted in the infant’s care.

Kupres willingly took the stand to talk this week, Sielski said. “He was trying to be forthright with you.”

Outside the courtroom, Jones spoke of Layla’s recovery and the girl’s life now. Jones said she was again granted full custody of her daughter in December after a period of supervised visits.

The girl spent nearly a month in the hospital last year but is expected to have no lasting side effects from her injuries. She is now walking and starting to talk.

“She’s wonderful. She’s completely recovered,” Jones said of Layla, who has since celebrated her first birthday. “Every doctor refers to her as a miracle baby … she’s definitely a testimony to God’s abilities. Doctors can’t explain it.”