A fall from a bunk bed was unlikely to be the cause of 2-year-old Kassidy Dains’ death, a forensic pathologist testified Thursday. The blunt-force trauma that caused internal injuries, would have required something, perhaps a blunt object.
Dr. James Terzian testified in Cortland County Court that even if 911 had been called immediately after Kassidy’s injuries on April 19, it’s unlikely she would have survived.
Terzian was testifying at the trial of Dorain Bohn, 29, originally from the Buffalo area, who is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, in Kassidy’s death.
Bohn has said that Kassidy fell from a bunk bed, perhaps while trying to adjust a photo near the bed. However, witnesses this week have described severe bruising and other injuries on the girl — bruises that Kassidy’s mother, Krystal Dains, said were not there when she left for work on April 19.
Terzian was among them. But a fractured skull was the cause of death, although he described other internal injuries.
Kassidy had suffered severe blunt force trauma fracturing her skull; bleeding between the skin and skull; bleeding within the skull; and blood within chambers of the brain.
The trauma would have led to more difficulties. “Pressure on the brain, which transmits to the stem,” Terzian said.
Kassidy had also suffered blunt force trauma to her abdomen, around her intestine. She also suffered blunt force trauma near the end of the large intestine. “Something had to rub against it,” Terzian said, possibly a blunt object.
Terzian added to testimony saying that there were more than 50 bruises, which were unlikely caused at the same time. It was possible that some of the bruising could have occurred after the head trauma and Kassidy was unconsciousness.
Blood tests also revealed there was antihistamine diphenhydramine, brand name Benadryl, in Kassidy’s system as well as a small amount of alcohol. Terzian said ethanol can form within the blood post-mortem, however, in this case it was unlikely due to the time frame from death to the autopsy — around 15 hours.
The prosecution rested after Terzian’s testimony. Cortland County Public Defender Keith Dayton began his defense after lunch.