Friday, April 17, 2015

Custodial dad on trial for murder of 1-year-old son (Tarrant County, Texas)

Take notice of how many paragraphs have to be slogged through before it is revealed that abusive father WILLIE LOUIS JACKSON was CUSTODIAL.

Yes, the mother had committed a property crime (burglary), and her arrest made it impossible for her to care for her children. But by all accounts, the maternal grandmother was doing a fine job as a caretaker.

Yet as we know, Texas is a big fathers rights state, so of course Daddy's rights take precedence over everything else. And notice that Dad assumed custody of the child without any advance warning to the grandmother or her approval.

This murder is absolutely linked to the ascendance of fathers rights ideology, and the idea that any father--no matter how violent or demented--has "rights" that trump everyone else's, The opinions and wishes of mothers and grandmothers--the traditional and time-honored caregivers--mean nothing. The well-being of children means nothing. The fact that a baby boy who had already been traumatized by the loss of his mother was being forcibly shuffled off to yet another home--when he was doing well with his grandmother--means nothing.

The end result: Daddy's custodial "rights" directly result in the means and opportunity to fracture the skull of this baby and end his life.

For similar crimes in the Lone Star state, see the Killer Dads and Custody list for the state of Texas.

Doctors detail injuries in Conroe child abuse case

Mother testifies at Conroe fatal child abuse trial

Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:34 pm

By Brandon K. Scott

Medical examiners who performed the autopsy of a 1-year-old boy who died from traumatic brain injuries while in his father’s custody detailed the child’s injuries in a Montgomery County courtroom Wednesday.

Medical examiners ruled LaMarcus Green’s death a homicide due to a recent skull fracture from blunt-force trauma.

His father, 24-year-old Willie Louis Jackson, is on trial this week on a first-degree felony injury to a child charge. Jackson faces up to 99 years in prison, if convicted.

Dr. Sara N. Doyle, a Harris County pathologist who performed the autopsy, said there were two separate incidents of blunt-force trauma in the child’s brain. The most recent injury, examiners testified, occurred shortly before LaMarcus died Oct. 23, 2013, when he was in Jackson’s care at a Conroe apartment. The injury is on the right side toward the top of his head, multiple medical examiners testified.

Another serious injury doctors noted was a skull fracture around the right eye, which showed signs of healing. Doctors estimated that fracture occurred two to eight weeks prior to LaMarcus’ death.

The issue is pertinent to both the prosecution and defense cases, since the dispute between them is whether the child suffered serious injuries before Jackson picked him up from the Dallas-Fort Worth area Sept. 21, 2013.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Prewitt told jurors Tuesday that evidence will show Jackson was responsible for LaMarcus when both skull fractures occurred.

Defense attorney E. Tay Bond, however, argues LaMarcus arrived to Conroe unhealthy and “he was already on his way out.”

Bond concedes LaMarcus’ second skull fracture was suffered around the time of the incident that led to his death, but argues the cause was an accidental injury exacerbated by his previous ailments.

Jackson told Conroe police he fed LaMarcus oatmeal, placed him on a pallet in the bedroom, then returned to the kitchen area to play video games before hearing him scream 15 minutes later.

Jackson said he checked on LaMarcus to find him gasping for air and whimpering.

Jackson later told police he took LaMarcus out of his high chair after feeding him and placed him on the floor, when the child fell forward and struck his forehead on the corner of the kitchen counter.

Jackson administered ointment on his head, placed him on the pallet then returned to playing video games.

Jackson said when he saw LaMarcus gasping for air, he began shaking the child to get a response from him.

In an audio interview with Conroe Detective Eddie Davis, Jackson said LaMarcus was clumsy and fell all the time.

Other witnesses testified the child was quiet and struggled maintaining his balance.

Dr. Glenn D. Sandberg, a Harris County forensic neuropathologist who noted hemorrhages through most of LaMarcus’s spinal cord and brain injuries, said it is unlikely the injuries were accidental.

Dr. Deborrah Pinto, a Harris County forensic anthropologist who examined LaMarcus, said the two skull fractures, while located in the same general area on the right side of the brain, never intersected. Doyle estimated the fractures were separated by about ¾-inch from the closest point, and almost 1½ inches from the farthest point.

Co-defense attorney Jerald Crow questioned whether LaMarcus already was compromised due to the initial fracture, but Doyle said she could not give an opinion having not examined LaMarcus prior to the second fracture.

Doyle said it is possible a new fracture could aggravate an older one, but that the injuries LaMarcus suffered were not likely to occur by falling from a standing height.

Police and EMS were dispatched to 231 Interstate 45 S. about 7 p.m. Oct. 22, 2013, after a call from Jackson stating his son was not breathing.

Jackson’s girlfriend Da’Zhane Shird and her mother Brenda Shird, who both testified Tuesday, tried to resuscitate Green with directions from 911 dispatchers until emergency personnel arrived.

“He is doing nothing,” Brenda Shird said in the 911 call. “He is laying here lifeless.”

Green was taken to Conroe Regional Medical Center with severe internal trauma and injuries to his forehead, then airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Green was pronounced dead the next morning.

A doctor noted in a physical exam that Green had bruises to the forehead, shoulder, back, right eye and buttocks.

The child’s mother, Lauren Green, is in custody at the Tarrant County jail facing burglary charges. Child Protective Services previously placed Lauren Green’s three children into her mother’s custody due to the 2012 criminal charge, according to Tuesday’s testimony.

The grandmother, Belinda Green, was influential in Jackson learning he fathered a child with her daughter but did not approve of the decision to allow LaMarcus to live with Jackson and Da’Zhane Shird.

Jackson traveled to Dallas alone Sept. 21, 2013, to pick up LaMarcus — without Belinda Green’s knowledge, she said.

Prosecutors sought to highlight that despite Lauren’s legal troubles, her children were being cared for by their grandmother, who paid for day care and arranged doctor visits. Bond, however, questioned whether LaMarcus Green could have suffered a serious head injury without his grandmother’s knowledge or recollection. Even though daycare and medical records never documented a head injury for LaMarcus Green, there were day care records showing one of the older children suffered a head injury from the same day care. Belinda Green said she did not remember the incident, but that she would have taken the child to a doctor if it appeared to be serious enough. Her testimony allowed attorneys from both sides to illustrate for the jury how LaMarcus was cared for before Jackson brought him to Conroe.

Lauren Green is expected to be transferred from the Tarrant County jail to testify for the state today.