Mother who fractured 10-month-old daughter's skull is let off by judge who blamed the injuries on the baby's 'brittle bones'
A courtroom was left stunned after a judge acquitted a mother of aggravated child abuse and blamed her infant's severe injuries on genetic disorders and brittle bones.
Doctors said April Fox's 10-month-old daughter, Sophia, had already suffered previous fractures to her arms and legs when she was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, with a fractured skull and swelling in the brain, according to a report by The Sun.
Prosecutors and cops accused the 34-year-old mother of brutally beating her child four years ago. Fox, who was arrested immediately after Sophia was taken to hospital, told doctors she had woken up to find her infant's face swollen, state a report by the Miami Herald.
Child welfare officials stripped the mother-of-two of her parental rights before adopting out Sophia, who had sustained brain damage at the time. According to prosecutors Yara Dodin and Jonathan Borst, Sophia's pre-existing fractures in her arms and legs were from beatings she had received in previous weeks.
Addressing jurors during Fox's trial, Dodin said: "She beat that little baby until her skull fractured. Her brain bled and her face and head swelled so badly that it alarmed everyone who saw her."
Meanwhile, Fox's lawyers maintained that Sophia's injuries stemmed from genetic disorders, brittle bones, and a fall. According to them, there were no witnesses to any alleged abuse against the child. Instead, it was suggested that Sophia might have suffered a disorder that resulted in her bones turning brittle.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as Brittle Bones, is a lifelong genetic disorder in which bones become dangerously fragile. This, in turn, results in the bones being liable to fracture at any given time even without trauma.
A mistrial was declared after six hours of deliberation among jurors did not come to a unanimous verdict. It was then that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mark Blumstein stunned the court audience by acquitting the mother instead of allowing a second trial.
"I'm really trying to get some picture of what happened that day," he said. "I'm not surprised about what the jury came to, and someone beyond any human in the court will have to answer those questions. But, in light of what I heard and after hearing the presentation from the state [prosecutors], I don’t think it’s going to change with any retrial of this case."
He added: "None of us here were there, except maybe you and people that know you. Certainly, none of the attorneys were there to know what happened." While the acquittal shocked the court, Fox couldn't believe what she heard and began hyperventilating profusely. It is being said that the State Attorney’s Office cannot appeal Blumstein's acquittal.
However, Fox will never get her children back. "It's kind of bittersweet. She won the trial but lost the war," Fox's lawyer Kellie Peterson said after the trial.
Now, Fox is facing another trial after investigators alleged she was practicing law without a license. According to authorities, she has sued at least one person for failing to compensate her for legal work she did involving criminal cases, child support issues, and foreclosures.
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