A Melbourne man charged with killing his girlfriend’s baby has blamed a spider scare for the injuries that led to the death of the 6-month-old boy.
According to 9news, Dwayne Lindsey is on trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria, charged with killing baby Chayse Dearing in June 2016, just days after proposing marriage to the child’s mother, Michelle Dearing.
The woman reportedly left the child in Lindsey’s care while she was out shopping.
According to The West Australian, Chayse suffered severe injuries to his brain and spinal cord, and had marks on his neck, bruising and abrasions on his groin, and retinal bleeding. The infant died in hospital two days later, reported The Age.
Lindsey claimed he fell asleep with the child on his chest and then jolted up as he woke suddenly when he thought a spider was crawling on his body. He said that as he jumped up, the baby rolled off his chest and hit his head against a wall heater.
He has pleaded not guilty.
But prosecutor Nicholas Papas challenged Lindsey’s testimony, saying medical records were inconsistent with Lindsey’s explanation of what happened. Papas said it was unlikely that an accident caused the head trauma that was found to be the toddler’s cause of death.
Instead, prosecutors allege that Lindsey intended to cause harm to Chayse.
His lawyer has told the jury his client might have shaken the baby, but did not intend to hurt him, reports The Age.
According to The Age, the jury heard on Monday, Feb. 26, that Lindsey, Dearing, and two other women smoked methamphetamine in the hours before the incident. At around 4 a.m. that morning, the three women went to a 24-hour Kmart while Chayse remained with Lindsey, who Dearing said had often taken care of the child.
When Dearing left her son, she said he seemed calm and content.
But at 8:20 a.m., she said she received a call from Lindsey saying something was wrong with Chayse, that he wasn’t breathing, and that he had blood coming from his nose, 9News reported.
According to Dearing, Lindsey sounded upset and was crying.
“He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong, he wouldn’t say anything. He just kept saying, ‘Hurry up, hurry up,'” she said, according to The Age.
The prosecutor described the scene upon the women’s return.
“It was an emotional, chaotic scene when Dearing and the others got back,” Papas told the court, according to the Daily Mail.
“She [Dearing] was overcome with emotion and collapsed.”
It is also alleged that Lindsey later told a witness he had, in fact, struck and kicked the baby.
Defence barrister Scott Johns said Lindsey did not intend to kill the child.
“Whatever you think of Dwayne Lindsey, he’s not a murderer.
“None of his actions came from an intention to cause any harm at all,” Johns hold the court, according to 9News.
Lindsey’s trial continues and is expected to run for a week.