Evidence of Clots
Two esteemed forensic pathologists, Dr. James Plunkett and Dr. Xhongxue Hua, testified for the defense that Gracelynn likely collapsed and died because of a rebleed of an old healing hemorrhage in her brain, complicated by blood clots (CVTs). The State's experts dismissed this theory, claiming that any clotting formed only while Gracelynn was kept alive at the hospital.
The jury did not hear that CT scans, immediately upon Gracelynn's arrival at the hospital, showed clots. The image at the left shows where they were.
The affidavits of Dr. Joseph Scheller, a pediatric neurologist, and Dr. Patrick Barnes, a neuroradiologist, experts in reading scans have offered similar conclusions here and here. The jury never heard this evidence either.
On the death certificate, the forensic pathologist claimed the cause of death was "blunt force trauma."
But at trial, the State's theories were all over the place, including Shaken Baby Syndrome.
And the jury never learned about the babysitter's admission that she dropped Gracelynn into a deep sink.
At trial, the prosecution made much of a small bruise that was found on Gracelynn's right temple area. There were absolutely no other signs of abuse: grip marks, extensive bruising, broken bones. Regardless, the prosecution claimed that Jeff inflicted the bruise and that Gracelynn's collapse would have been immediate.
The jury never heard, though, that Gracelynn's babysitter claimed to have seen a bump or a knot in the area of the bruise on the right-side of Graceylnn's head much earlier on the day of her collapse.
And the babysitter, who was under the influence of several narcotics, also had admitted to police that she twice dropped Gracelynn into a deep sink while bathing her.
Whether accidental or not, minor trauma to Gracelynn's head could have caused an old healing hemorrhage to rebleed, leading to a cascade of fatal events.
Police did not follow up and focused only on Jeff.