An emotional day in court Tuesday in the trial of the Richmond mother accused of starving to death her two-year-old son. The prosecution continued to present its case against Ashley Williams, who is charged with felony murder and felony child neglect.
Tuesday, both sides were reprimanded by the judge after bickering, while jurors were visibly struck by testimony from the medical examiner's office.
Those doctors ruled two-year-old D'Sean Williams officially died from malnutrition and dehydration on May 30th, 2009. The photo of the smiling little boy looks nothing like what jurors saw Tuesday.
Some looked away and others had tears in their eyes as the assistant chief medical examiner described the damage done to D'Sean's body from starvation. Jury members could see every single rib. The stomach sinks into the body and they could count the notches in the spine.
We learned Tuesday, during the last month of his life the two-year-old was not brought to the doctor for a well-child appointment. At the last visit on April 24th, his pediatrician testified he weighed in at 18lbs, 2 ounces. When he was weighed in his autopsy about a month later, the scales only registered 14.4 lbs. He lost almost 4 pounds in just 36 days, which is about 20 percent of the two-year-old's body weight.
We also learned more about this story from Ashley Williams herself. Defense attorneys played the entire police interrogation. Williams told the detective she "didn't notice how small he was getting." She also said in the two days before he died, he was doing the same thing he had been doing in terms of not eating.
On the stand, the investigator explained Williams said she'd last fed her son on May 28th, about 36 hours before he was found dead. She told police in that time, she offered her son food and water but he wouldn't take much.
According to testimony, the last time anyone knew D'Sean was alive and ok was at 8:30 on May 29th, when Ashley laid him in his sister's bed to watch TV and go to sleep.
Defense attorneys vigorously cross examined D'Sean's pediatrician. They asked her if D'Sean was dying and it was she, not Ashley, who missed something.
The defense team maintains, D'Sean had an undiagnosed condition called failure to thrive, in which he had trouble putting on and keeping on weight.
Williams' lawyers are expected to bring their evidence forward Wednesday. We should hear more then about what they believe happened to the two-year-old.
If convicted on both charges, Ashley Williams is looking at a maximum fifty years behind bars.
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