Symes testifies in Cincinnati child abuse case;
defendant pleads guilty four days into trial
Mercyhurst College forensic anthropologist Dr. Steven Symes was a key witness for the prosecution in one of Cincinnati’s most gruesome child abuses cases in recent years.
Four days into the trial, on Thursday, Feb. 10, the man accused of killing 19-month-old Jaden Jenkins – the child’s own father, James Lyons – pled guilty to all charges. According to news reports, Lyons may have pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, which he faced if convicted.
Investigators said Jenkins died of head trauma on Sept. 12, 2009, but prosecutors said healed injuries indicated that Jenkins had been beaten previously.
To prove the child was severely beaten over a long period of time, the prosecution called several experts to the stand. Symes, whose expertise is bone trauma, testified on Tuesday, Feb. 8, before the three-judge panel presiding over the trial, detailing a pattern of trauma that revealed a fractured skull from multiple blows to the head and at least 11 broken ribs during the child’s lifetime.
According to Ohio law, those charged with killing a child under age 13 are eligible for the death penalty.
Release Date: March 8, 2011