Trial for man accused of killing baby continues | News

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Trial for man accused of killing baby continues


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A judge's trial of a Bangor man charged in the death of his 3-month-old son continued into day three Thursday morning. 

Police say 18-year-old Dustin Brown's son died nearly three years ago. The day of the death, officers responded to the home for a baby who was not breathing back on Nov. 25, 2012. The infant was taken the hospital, where he later died. Brown told police the baby went limp during a feeding, but an autopsy indicates the infant, Xander Brown, died from trauma.

The prosecution recalled that Brown's son, Xander, was born prematurely but did not have any medical issues when he was brought home. The prosecution argued Brown acted Brown negligently when left along with the baby. 

The first two days of witness testimony included the baby's mother, Alaina Cain, who told the judge  Brown visited "maybe once," while in the hospital. The prosecution presented a picture of baby Xander to the courtroom, but there was no emotion from the child's mother or father.

Also to take the stand was Brent Beaulieu, a detective with the Bangor Police. Beaulieu, had stated Brown seemed down and depressed when meeting with him at the hospital the day Xander died. However, Beaulieu testified saying Brown wasn't crying during the interview, but that Cain, the baby's mother was clearly upset and had been crying. Beaulieu said Cain's demeanor changed the following day after their initial interview. He said she came off defensive and terminated contact after Beaulieu didn't think he was getting full story.

To start day three of the trial, the sate called a pathologist, Elizabeth Bundock, to the stand. Bundock had examined Xander's eyes, brain, and spinal cord and said the number of hemorrhages in eyes and blood in the brain indicate traumatic brain injury. When the defense cross-examined Bundock, she stated there were some old signs of bleeding in the brain that could be from Xander's birth. But she said the new signs of bleeding comes from some sort of trauma. She stated on stand that she did not see any swelling of the brain, which means the baby's death came shortly after the injury.

The defense also called on their own pathologist, Dr. Donald Stanley, to testify Thursday. Stanley said it appears the infant choked on formula, which caused cardiac arrest. Stanley agreed with Dr. Greenwalk and Bundock that there was blunt force trauma to the head, but said there was insufficient evidence to prove that caused Xander's death. 

The state and defense gave closing statements Thursday afternoon. Judge William Anderson is expected to take this case under advisement and make a decision later. If convicted of manslaughter, Brown faces up to 30 years in prison.

Related story: Day two: Trial for man accused of killing 3-month-old