Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that this afternoon a jury convicted Lawrence resident Derek J. Edmonds, 25, of felony abuse of a child and aggravated battery.
On Friday, September 16, at approximately 7:20 a.m., a social worker with Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) called Douglas County Emergency Communications to report a three-month-old victim being cared for at CMH was displaying a multilayer brain bleed and a rib fracture. (It would later be discovered that the infant also suffered from retinal hemorrhages.) A sergeant with the Lawrence Police Department responded to both Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where the infant was first taken for care, and then to CMH were the infant had been life-flighted for specialized care. Detectives began separate interviews with the infant’s parents. It was during those interviews, Edmonds told detectives that he shook his infant in an aggressive manner, out of frustration. That violent shaking caused the injuries to the infant.
Edmond’s jury trial began in the Division Six courtroom on Monday, May 15 with jury selection. Opening arguments were delivered Monday afternoon. The case continued Tuesday morning, throughout the day Wednesday and closing arguments were delivered Thursday morning. The jury deliberated for the remainder of Thursday and returned Friday at 9:00 a.m. to continue deliberations. The verdict was returned today at approximately 1:30 p.m.
Edmonds faces 31-136 months in prison for both the abuse of a child conviction and also for the aggravated battery conviction. His actual sentence will depend on his prior criminal history. The Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation be completed and scheduled him to be sentenced on July 7 at 10:00 a.m.
The Honorable Peggy C. Kittel presided over the case. It was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department and it was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Alice Walker and Senior Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor