Testimony was heard Thursday in the trial of D’Khari Lyons, the Manhattan man accused in the November 2018 murder of his former girlfriend’s infant son.
Jurors heard from the child abuse specialist from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City who examined 2-month old Michael Calvert Jr. in the days after he sustained a fatal head injury while in the care of Lyons. The boy’s mother had left Michael at home with Lyons while she took her two other children to school.
It was described that at the time of Michael’s arrival to the hospital, the injuries were so substantial that no surgical options could’ve improved his injuries. Injuries included blunt force trauma to the head, neck and chest area. It was the specialist’s opinion that the injuries were the result of abuse, which was the official medical diagnosis.
Photos were presented to the jury showing the child’s injuries. The medical examiner noted the child’s brain was swelling so much that it herniated from the skull (or moved down). The mother of the child, Jessica Hudson, testified that prior to the injury Michael displayed no signs of trauma and was healthy and conscious.
On cross examination of the medical examiner, public defender Cole Hawver asked questions based on two medical articles she published on racial disparity in child abuse investigations and biases. He also began to frame the defense’s case that Lyons was not guilty, citing statements from Hudson that Michael sustained a bruise on his left cheek prior to the fatal injury, possibly caused by his siblings, as well as the mother’s medical history suffering from depression and anxiety.
The trial resumes Friday in Riley County District Court.
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