A Hannibal man has filed an appeal of his conviction of felony child abuse, stemming from a June 3, 2014 incident that left a 7-month-old infant seriously injured.
A Hannibal man has filed an appeal of his conviction of felony child abuse, stemming from a June 3, 2014, incident that left a 7-month-old infant seriously injured.
Dustin T. Dye, of Hannibal, filed an appeal request for an appeal through defense attorney Christian Lehmberg in the Eastern District Appellate Court, which alleged the defendants rights to due process and a unanimous jury verdict were violated through a “plain error standard,” related to instructions provided to the jury before the deliberation process. Lehmberg argued that because a specific act was not noted in the instructions, the verdict was the result of speculation by jury members.
In the two briefs presented to the Court, Lehmberg asserted that “the trial court plainly erred in submitting Instruction Number 6 to the jury” because an act that could have caused the victim’s injuries was not specified before deliberation. Assistant Attorney General Nathan Aquino countered that the verdict director followed instructions and statutes in providing jury instructions and that the State was not required to describe the act that caused the victim’s injuries.
Before the jury deliberated for about four-and-a-half hours during the second day of the trial Aug. 11, the prosecution and defense delivered their closing arguments.
Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton said that Dye’s anger over an argument with his aunt and the denial of money ultimately led to the defendant taking his emotions out on his girlfriend’s infant daughter.
Dye’s defense attorney Wayne Schoeneberg argued that no physical evidence directly linked Dye to the baby’s injuries. According to previous testimony, the infant was healthy and happy earlier in the day. Dye admitted this was the first time he watched baby Nora alone.
The jury found Dye guilty for an alternate charge of felony child abuse on Thursday, Aug. 11. Dye’s was initially charged with one felony count of first-degree assault and one felony count of abuse or neglect of a child.
The appeal case is scheduled for the Thursday, March 1 docket, in the Eastern District Appellate Court. Dye remains incarcerated in a Department of Corrections facility.
Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org