CORTLAND, N.Y. — A Cortland County Sheriff’s Officer testified Thursday in the trial of Dorian Bohn that he believed the two-year-old girl Bohn is accused of murdering was already dead when he arrived at Bohn’s apartment as one of the first responders.
A nurse at the Cortland hospital’s Emergency Room also testified Kassidy Dains was already dead when she arrived, despite 45 minutes of emergency efforts by first responders to save her.
A paramedic at the scene also testified the injuries he saw on Dains would not occur if Dains had fallen from a bunk bed as Bohn claims.
Dains died of a fatal head injury on April 19 while in Bohn’s care and after sustaining 50 injuries, according to both the prosecution and the defense.
Bohn, 29, of 11 Elm St., McGraw, was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, as well as endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
Officer Jason Kemp testified Thursday Dains was “grayish-colored” when he arrived at the scene shortly after McGraw Fire and Rescue members.
“When I went to check for a pulse on the left arm, the child was cold to the touch,” Kemp said, even though the home Dain’s mother, Krystal Dains, shared with Bohn was quite warm.
“Did you think this child was still alive?” asked Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath.
“No,” Kemp responded.
“Was that your thought when you first entered the apartment?” McGrath continued.
“Yes,” said Kemp.
Kemp noticed injuries to the toddler’s knees, hands and arms, and skull.
“It looked like a crushed-in spot,” Kemp said of the skull injury. “It was indented and very red.”
“I would say the majority of the bruises, more than 90 percent, were a fresh blue-green color,” Kemp said. Kemp also noticed blood was pooling underneath the skin of the crescent-shaped bruise on the girl. “It was not bleeding, but you could tell there was surface blood.”
Kemp said he carried the girl to the ambulance then provided a police escort for the ambulance. He had already called dispatch and asked that a plow truck clear the snowy roads for the ambulance, which it had. Kemp said he also asked city police to close intersections on the way to the hospital to so that the ambulance go through them quickly and easily.
“We didn’t waste any time getting to the hospital,” Kemp said.
When the ambulance arrived, Kemp took over chest compressions to relieve the emergency responder who did them in the ambulance as the group wheeled the girl on a stretcher into the Emergency Room, he testified.
Kemp said he watched as the medical staff did everything they could to save Dains. Kemp stayed as the staff pronounced the two-year-old dead, he said while holding back his emotions.
Visible bruising, fracture wounds on child
Robert Beam, a paramedic with TLC Emergency Medical Services, testified Dains’ lungs were not making any breathing sounds as paramedics intubated her and continued CPR, while her heart showed no electrical activity on their equipment.
“It’s basically flatline,” said Beam, who worked as a paramedic for about 30 years and served as a combat advanced field medic in the Army for six years.
The first responders gave the toddler a dose of adrenaline, which a body usually responds to in a few seconds, but Dains did not react, Beam said.
When Dains was loaded into the ambulance, Beam said he could see more clearly the bruising on the child’s arms and legs, as well as a crescent-shaped bruise on her left side that struck him as “weird.” Beam also saw a “deep skull fracture” on the back of Dains’ head.
“The head is normally round and there was an indentation,” he said of Dains’ skull.
Beam expressed skepticism on the stand about Bohn’s account of Dains falling from a bunk bed.
“You wouldn’t have had the bruises on the body from a fall …” Beam said, adding later that a fall from a bunk bed “...did not seem plausible with the other injuries on the body.”
'She was already deceased'
When Dains arrived at the Cortland hospital, her pupils did not dilate, indicating she had no brain activity and her heart did not start beating on its own despite doses of adrenaline, said nurse Abby Dan, who treated Dains. Since she had not had a heart beat for about 45 minutes and there were no signs of brain activity, Dains was pronounced dead six minutes after arriving at the hospital, Dan said.
“She was already deceased when she came to the Emergency Room,” Dan said.
Dains’ body was pale and Dan noticed and felt the child’s head wound.
“It was just soft,” Dan said of the part of Dains’ skull above her left ear. “Smushy.”
The extensive amount of bruising on Dains’ legs, back and head is what prompted Dan, who has training pediatric trauma, to file a suspected child abuse report, she said.
Dains had finger-shaped bruises on her knees and the back of her hand, Dan said, adding “I felt strongly there was some child abuse involved…”
Most of the bruises occurred within a day, Dan testified.
“A majority of them were very dark in color,” she said “The dark color of the bruising would indicate they were new or newer.”
One or two of the bruises on the hands were yellowish and a crescent shaped bruise on her left rib was light purple, indicating they were older than the darker bruises, Dan said.
Of the more than 10 child fall cases he has treated as a nurse, Dan testified she never saw a skull fracture, extensive bruising or a child die.
“The skull fracture was the fatal injury,” Dan said. “That one could have been consistent with a fall.”