Dorain G. Bohn was convicted Monday of murdering a 2-year-old girl last year because, prosecutors claim, he was upset that he had to baby-sit her rather than drink and play video games.
Bohn, 29, originally from the Buffalo area, was found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, in the death of Kassidy Dains on April 19. He was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Kelley Hewes, Kassidy Dains’ grandmother. “She got justice.”
The jury returned its verdict at 4:13 p.m., nearly two hours after it received the case and after nearly two weeks of testimony in Cortland County Court.
“We knew this case was going to be a difficult case,” Public Defender Keith Dayton said in his closing argument.
Kassidy’s skull was fractured, an autopsy showed. She also suffered internal injuries to her abdominal area, including the end of the large intestine. Pathologists also found more than 50 bruises on the girl, including every extremity. Defenders said she fell from a bunk bed; prosecutors said simply that Bohn killed her.
Nothing the attorneys or the jury do will change the fact Kassidy Dains is dead, Dayton added. And the man accused of killing her, Bohn, will have to live with that the rest of his life.
“While all child deaths are tragic, not all are murder, manslaughter or homicide,” Dayton said.
Dayton told the jury that during the entire trial the prosecution never established Bohn’s motive. Testimony showed a happy relationship between Bohn and Kassidy’s mother, Krystal Dains. There was also no evidence showing any issues between Bohn and Kassidy.
For months, during their relationship, while in Buffalo, Krystal Dains left her daughter with Bohn on many occasions while she was at work, Dayton said.
While inconsistencies with a timeline of events the night of April 19 exists, one thing Bohn told investigators that remained the same was that Kassidy Dains fell from a bunk bed in her bedroom.
Dayton recounted expert testimony that less than 1 in 1 million deaths occur each year among children from short falls — a fall around 5 feet. He continued with evidence from an aerospace engineer that the collision between Kassidy’s head and the wood floor could have caused the skull fracture, although prosecutors focused on an area of dented wall where they found Kassidy’s hair.
“The G-force is eight to 10 times higher with a fall from a bunk bed than the drywall,” Dayton said.
“This was not an accident, it was child abuse,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath told jurors. “It was not a fall from a bunk bed, it was murder.”
McGrath told the jury that at the end of testimony last week Dayton threw expert witnesses at the jury to make Kassidy Dains irrelevant.
“Jurors, I believe he has failed,” she said. “Kassidy is of extreme relevance.”
McGrath reiterated Dayton’s fact of a short fall causing the death of child in less than 1 in 1 million cases.
“The fall is not reasonable,” she said. “Dorain Bohn killed Kassidy.”
She also mentioned the inconsistencies.
“If he has been inconsistent with all the little things, then why believe him about the big thing, about the fall?” she asked.
Dayton told the jury the prosecution did not tell how Kassidy Dains was killed, McGrath said. “There are a lot of ways to kill a person who is 24 pounds,” she said. “They are small and vulnerable.”
McGrath said Bohn had called in sick to work and wanted alone time to play video games, watch TV, drink alcohol and not be a baby-sitter.
When Kassidy Dains began seeking his attention, he lost his temper.
Bohn continued to send flirty messages to Krystal Dains as Kassidy lay dying next to him. “He was not unaware to her suffering, just simply indifferent to it,” McGrath said.
To find Bohn guilty of second- degree murder, the jury must find four things, Cortland County Judge Julie Campbell told them:
• Bohn caused the death of someone younger than 11.
• He recklessly engaged in conduct that caused grave risk of injury or death to Kassidy.
• He acted with depraved indifference.
• That he was 18 or older.
To convict him of first-degree manslaughter, jurors would need to find that Bohn recklessly engaged in conduct that caused grave risk of injury or death to Kassidy and that he acted with intent to cause physical injury.
To convict him of endangering the welfare of child, the jury would have to find Bohn acted in a manner likely to be injurious physically, mentally or morally to Kassidy; and that he acted so knowingly.
The sentence for a second-degree murder conviction ranges from 15 years to life to 25 years to life in prison.
Sentencing for Bohn is scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 28.
“My office is very gratified that the jury was able to view the evidence and see the position we were taking,” said District Attorney Patrick Perfetti.
Dayton declined comment following the verdict.
Following the verdict, Hewes said she hopes that the maximum sentence is imposed.
“I’m just thankful my daughter and granddaughter got justice delivered,” she said.