— A screaming Alexander Midyette was hurried out of the courtroom Friday evening after a jury found his wife guilty
of child abuse resulting in the death of their 10-week-old son, Jason.
“This is bull----,” he yelled. “She didn’t
do anything, you f------ a-------.”
Deputies rushed to clear the courtroom at the judge’s
order after a red-faced Alexander Midyette began screaming and pulling at his hair.
As deputies and his supporters hurried him from the courtroom,
Midyette yelled over his shoulder to Louisville Police Detective Jessica Steele, accusing her of lies.
Minutes earlier, supporters of Alexander and Molly Midyette
began to cry as Boulder District Judge Lael Montgomery read the verdict at about 6:45 p.m. A woman yelled at reporters that
they “better write something nice.”
Prosecutors throughout the trial argued that Alexander Midyette
badly injured the infant and that Molly Midyette failed to protect the child from his father and get him prompt medical attention.
Molly Midyette’s attorney, Craig Truman, said he agreed that Alexander Midyette hurt the baby but said his client did
not realize it.
The jury determined that Molly Midyette placed the baby in
danger and did so in a pattern of abuse during his life, agreeing with prosecutors on all points of their case.
Molly Midyette, who is facing a mandatory sentence of 16 to
48 years, was arrested immediately after the verdict was read and is not eligible for bond.
Alexander Midyette is scheduled to go to trial in January
on the same charges as his wife’s.
Alexander Midyette initially cried at the verdict and then
began yelling expletives at the judge, Steele and reporters.
Jurors began deliberating shortly after closing arguments
ended at about 1 p.m. Friday. Alexander Midyette kept vigil outside the courtroom during his wife’s trial and occasionally
made disparaging comments to reporters covering the high-profile case.
Ken Kupfner began the prosecution’s closing argument
Friday by contrasting the baby’s first photograph in the hospital from December 2005 to one taken while he was hooked
up to life support as a “broken baby” just before he died on March 3, 2006. The Boulder County coroner determined
that Jason died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Kupfner said Jason died because of his father’s actions
and his mother’s failure to react to his injuries.
“Inaction, omission and delay. That is what this case
is about,” Kupfner told jurors.
He said Molly Midyette left the baby with Alexander Midyette
despite evidence of injuries.
“Molly Midyette permitted her child to remain in an
environment where he was damaged again and again and again,” Kupfner said.
Molly Midyette was charged with child abuse resulting in death,
but prosecutors left the jury with options to determine the degree of abuse.
Defense attorney Truman argued that because the baby did not
have many bruises, Molly Midyette could not know Jason was suffering life-threatening injuries. The symptoms the baby showed
did not hint at the severity of injuries discovered by doctors, Truman said.
Medical staff testified during the trial that the baby suffered
brain death by the time he was hospitalized on Feb. 24, 2006, and that his parents’ delays seeking medical treatment
“signed his death warrant.”
Kupfner said the symptoms would be apparent — and that
the Midyettes’ descriptions that the baby periodically stopped breathing, stiffened and arched his back were indicative
of seizures resulting from brain injuries.
Prosecutor Colette Cribari began to cry after she concluded
an emotional closing argument in which she said Molly Midyette never bonded with the baby and that the parents were disconnected
from the care of the child. She argued that Molly Midyette saw plenty of evidence that Alexander Midyette was hurting the
baby and failed repeatedly to tell doctors about the baby’s symptoms.
“Who is that baby’s voice? Molly Midyette was
not telling the doctor what the baby’s symptoms were,” Cribari said. “If you don’t tell the doctor
the symptoms, the doctor can’t fix you.”
In his closing argument, Truman said he believes the baby
was abused and that Alexander Midyette did it.
However, he told jurors the baby’s symptoms caused by
the traumatic brain injury were not alarming until Feb. 24, 2006, when the Midyettes took the infant to their family physician.
The doctor told them to immediately take the child to the emergency room because the baby’s soft spot was bulging and
he clearly required treatment beyond the scope of her practice.
Truman said that while his client believes her husband’s
claim that he did nothing to hurt the baby, her defense team doesn’t buy it.
“Why Molly stays with him is a mystery to me,”
he told jurors.
Pierrette J. Shields can be reached at 303-684-5273 or email@example.com.
Ft. Carson Soldier Johnathan Klinker Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse After Killing Infant Daughter
Johnathan Klinker, 22, a soldier at Fort Carson in Colorado, pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death
and second-degree assault in the death of his infant daughter who died of severe bleeding of the brain.
Klinker claims his seven-week-old daughter, Nicolette, hit her head after he held her four inches off the
ground by her arms, then let her drop to the floor. He said he was imitating a doctor doing a reflex test. The baby died
at a hospital four days later.
However, authorities believe Klinker became frustrated when Nicolette started crying and shook her four or five times,
put her into a sitting position, then let her fall to the floor. The beating resulted in multiple injuries like bruising on her face and hemorrhaging.
Klinker is facing 30 to 64 years in prison. Fort Carson officials said it is up to his commanding officer to initiate