Saturday, November 1, 2014

Custodial dad avoids jury trial for beating death of 19-month-old son; granted three-judge panel instead (Avonsdale, Ohio)

Update to the killer dads and custody lists.

According to our previous posts, dad JAMES LYONS was awarded custody when the mother sought out mental health treatment.

This is the most recent update I have found. As there are a lot of men named James Lyons, I haven't verified if the father has in fact died from his sickle-cell anemia.

Notice that this latest article erases the father's custodial status. This is typical.

See our previous posts.

James Lyons Sentenced to LWOP in 2009 OH Slaying of Infant Son Jaden Jenkins

10-14-2010, 07:23 PM

Judge panel to try baby death case

James Lyons doesn't want a jury to hear about the horrific injuries or see autopsy pictures of the infant son he allegedly beat to death, so he asked Monday for an unusual way to deal with his death-penalty murder case.

Lyons, 28, of Avondale, asked for and was granted a three-judge panel to hear the case instead of jurors.

Dan Burke, one of Lyons' two court-appointed attorneys, said they wanted to avoid a jury trial "because of the nature of the injuries of the child ... the emotional issue."

Lyons is accused of beating his 19-month-old son, Jaden Jenkins, to death Sept. 12, 2009. The child's skull was fractured by at least seven blows and the majority of his ribs were fractured. Prosecutors estimated the child had been beaten for more than a year. Lyons is charged with aggravated murder, felonious assault and child endangering. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.

Under Ohio law, those charged with a crime with the ultimate penalty - death - cannot plead guilty. Asking for a three-judge panel often is the precursor to what effectively is a guilty plea in such a case but not in this one, Burke said.

The case originally was assigned to Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Pat DeWine who will remain on and preside over the three-judge panel. On Monday, two other judges were selected to complete the panel. They are Melba Marsh and Jerome Metz.

The judges will hear the evidence as a jury would and render a decision on guilt or innocence. If Lyons is convicted of capital murder, a second phase of the trial is held where prosecutors will ask for the death penalty and Lyons attorneys will try to save his life. In addition to the death penalty, the judges can impose sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole, life without the possibility of parole for 30 years, life without the possibility of parole for 25 years or life without the possibility of parole for 20 years.

That is, if Lyons lives that long.

His attorneys sought the three-judge panel earlier, but the original hearing on the issue was delayed because Lyons was taken to the hospital where he said he almost died. Lyons, Burke said, suffers from a severe case of sickle-cell disease, a painful blood disorder where the normally disk-shaped blood cells instead are shaped like "sickles" - or the letter C - and block blood flow that can cause organ failure and even death.

The case is next in court Oct. 6.