LIMA — Testimony got underway Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court in the jury trial of a Lima man accused to inflicting serious injuries on a young child placed in his care.
Anthony Davenport, 34, of Lima, is charged with second-degree felony counts of felonious assault and endangering children for wounds police and prosecutors say he inflicted on 30-month-old Kyler Skeens in 2017.
After a full day of jury selection on Monday, jurors heard testimony Tuesday from various medical experts from Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus about injuries sustained by the boy.
James Harvey, a registered nurse at St. Rita’s, testified that the toddler was “limp … like a wet noodle” when he brought into the emergency room at the Lima hospital on the morning of March 21, 2017. Harvey said the boy was “unresponsive” and was “very unstable; he wasn’t breathing on his own.” Harvey also testified that the young boy had “bruises everywhere” on his body.
“We suspected this was not an accident,” Harvey testified.
Dr. Sarah Olt, an emergency room trauma surgeon at St. Rita’s, said the boy showed “signs of a traumatic brain injury” and testified that a CT scan showed “abnormal bleeding and swelling” in Skeens’ brain.
Olt said the blows that caused the injury likely occurred “within an hour to a few hours” before the boy was brought to the emergency room by a man later identified as Davenport.
Nichole Mikesell, an investigator for the Allen County Children Services board, said Anthony Davenport and his wife, Rachel, were granted temporary custody of Kyler after the boy was removed from the home of his biological mother in Logan County. The investigator said she had spoken with Rachel Davenport at the hospital on the morning of March 21, 2017.
“She said she got up at 5:15 a.m. that morning and took Kyler to the bathroom, them put him back to bed. She left for work at 6 a.m. and left Kyler and his brother with her husband,” Mikesell testified, adding that the woman is a nurse at Blanchard Valley Hospital. She rushed to the Lima hospital after her husband took Kyler Skeens there in dire physical condition.
Jurors viewed photos taken at the hospital which showed bruises over much of the boy’s body, from his jaw to his neck to his arms, legs, back and buttocks.
Defense Attorney Kenneth Rexford claimed injuries suffered by the toddler had been present and should have been noticed when Rachel Davenport took the boy to the bathroom earlier that morning.
He also said the boy reportedly had fallen out of a car a few weeks earlier.
The child survived the injuries at the heart of this trial but has had ongoing issues.
The state will continue its case this morning.