More doctors testify in Child Abuse trial
Washington County, TN – More doctors testified Thursday at the trial of a Washington County, Tennessee man accused of shaking his baby so hard it caused serious injuries.
Day two started with Dr. Melinda Lucas, one of the doctors who first analyzed 7-month-old Jaden Whitaker, taking the stand for cross-examination by the defense.
The defense tried to create doubt, but after looking at test results, and since Jaden had no prior health issues, the doctor ruled out the theory of a bleeding disorder or stroke, staying with her original conclusion.
“In your professional opinion you said this was a shaking injury,” defense attorney David Robbins asked. “Acceleration-deceleration, shaking, yes,” Lucas, a pediatric intensive care physician at Niswonger Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center, testified.
Dr. Lucas was one of four doctors who testified for the prosecution.
Next to the stand was Dr. Anna Kosentka, a child neurologist from Knoxville.
She told the jury her initial examination showed severe internal brain bleeding and retinal hemorrhage, something very unlikely for an infant to experience.
“Most of the time this is a non-accidental trauma,” Dr. Kosentka said. “Sometimes we see this same form of injuries when a child is in a car accident.”
During testimony, doctors came up with similar conclusions, and said one explanation fits.
“Something happened to this child in the form of shaking, acceleration-deceleration force, effecting his brain, causing this bleeding,” Dr. Kosentka said.
Whitaker’s wife is expected to testify Friday. The defense is still deciding if Whitaker will take the stand.
He’s charged with aggravated child abuse, a crime that carries anywhere from 15-25 years in prison.