October 22, 2021

Detective: Girl’s death not caused by fall from bunk

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

City of Cortland investigator Lt. Todd Caufield, left, is questioned by Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath, Tuesday’s during the trial of Dorain Bohn at the County Courthouse in Cortland.

The lead investigator in Kassidy Dains’ death showed jurors on Tuesday pictures of extensive bruising on the 2-year-old, and his conclusion a fall from a bunk bed did not kill her.

“There were bruises on every extremity of the child,” Lt. Todd Caufield of the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office testified Tuesday afternoon during the fifth day of Dorain Bohn’s trial in Cortland County Court.

Bohn, 29, originally from Buffalo, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, in the April 19 death of Kassidy Dains. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Bohn has said the injuries were caused in a fall from a bunk bed.

Caufield told jurors he arrived about 10 p.m. to the Elm Street, McGraw, residence where the incident happened earlier that evening.

Caufield said he observed the scene, then directed Sgt. Paul Knapp how to handle and preserve the scene, before he went to Cortland Regional Medical Center to see Kassidy’s body and speak with her family.

At the hospital, accompanied by Coroner Kevin Sharpe, Caufield took photographs of Kassidy’s body.

They show bruises across her body, and extensive bruising on her hands, legs, feet, lower back, throat and neck area.

When the photos were shown, people in the courtroom gasped.

At the prompting of Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath, Caufield described the bruises.

“There were bruises on both legs, the bruises were brown and black and blue,” he said.

A purple, black and blue bruise on the lower back above the buttocks appeared more recent than the others, he said. A large bruise on the top, back upper left quadrant of Kassidy’s head and around her right ear showed a plum, purple discoloration, which Caufield’s experience suggested was a sign of pooling blood.

“It was my opinion that it was more than just a fall as had been reported,” he said.

Caufield then described giving Kassidy’s mother, Krystal Dains, a ride to the Sheriff’s Department, and later interviewing Bohn.

Bohn was “calm, forthcoming and verbal,” Caufield said. “He answered my questions, I didn’t see any hesitation or that he was resistant or not wanting to be there.”

Jurors watched a video of the interview. In it, Bohn described a good relationship with Krystal Dains and her two children, with whom he had lived.

“I think the kids love me, actually, they are always excited to see me,” Bohn said in the interview.

As the interview progressed, however, Bohn became upset after describing hearing a thump in Kassidy’s bedroom, and finding her on the floor.

“I picked her up and asked her ‘did you fall,’ she said yeah and was crying,” Bohn said, putting his head down on the table and sobbing. “Is she OK? Is she OK?”

In court, Bohn’s shoulders shook and he wiped his eyes with tissues.

In the video, Caufield tried to calm Bohn and establish a timeline of events.

Bohn said he took Kassidy to lie down on the couch in the living room and sat next to her.

“She just went to sleep,” Bohn said, and he watched television. First, he said, he heard heavy breathing, then it stopped, at which point he said he called 911.

In the video, Bohn rocked back and forth in his chair, head in his hands, asking repeatedly if Kassidy was OK.

Testimony was to continue today with jurors expected to watch the rest of the video.