In heart-rending testimony Friday, the mother of Kassidy Dains testified her daughter’s extensive bruising and injuries were not present when she left the two-year-old with Dorian Bohn on the night of the child’s death.
Almost 50 different autopsy photos of the extensive bruises, injuries and anal bleeding on the toddler’s body displayed in court prompted at least two jurors to cry, along with members of the audience in the courtroom. Others on the jury appeared sickened.
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.
Before Bohn babysat Kassidy Dains on the day of her death, the girl had two yellow bruises on her shins that were almost faded away and a small cut on her right chin, Krystal Dains said. In tears, Dains testified that none of the extensive bruising on Kassidy’s neck, ribs, belly, and backs of her hands were present when she left for work. Neither were the small, dark spots on the inside of her legs, the dark bruises on her knees or the blood from her anus, Dains said, sobbing.
“Have you ever seen blood like that on her (Kassidy Dains) body?” asked Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath.
“No,” Dains replied.
There was also no alcohol in the apartment before work, Dains said. Crime scene photos shown in court depicted vodka shooter bottles in a ripped brown paper bag on the couch, on the floor by the couch and two 24 ounce beer cans on a table in the living room.
While Dains was on work breaks, the couple texted back and forth, flirting, Dains said. But Bohn never said in his texts that Kassidy Dains was vomiting, unconscious, having trouble breathing or that she was given Benadryl, Dains testified. Crime photographs of the text messages on Dains’ phone taken the night of the girl’s death and shown to the court corroborate Dains’ account.
Bohn told a Sheriff’s deputy on a recording played in court earlier in the week that he was playing video games and watching television when he heard a bang from Dains’ room and her cry. Bohn said he picked her up and gave her half a Benadryl for allergies. After bringing her out to the living room couch with him, Bohn said Dain fell asleep and wouldn’t wake up.
Kassidy Dains had no allergies and, at two-years-old, could not swallow pills, Krystal Dains testified Friday.
The Benadryl in the house was Bohn’s, Dains said. “He took it everyday to make him sleep,” she said of Bohn.
Cortland County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Anthony Phelps testified earlier Friday that the Benadryl police photographed on the kitchen counter of the apartment was a small pink bottle containing pink pills.
Bohn kept some of the Benadryl pills from the bottle on the kitchen counter in different rooms of the apartment, including in his dresser and in an entertainment center, Dains said.
Krystal Dains said she first learned of Bohn’s arrest in the death of her daughter through a Facebook post that included his mug shot.
“I thought, ‘Why is he smiling in his picture?’” Dains said. “I was super confused. I believed him when he told me it was an accident.”
Later, when Lt. Todd Caufield of the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office told her about all the bruises on the Kassidy Dains’ body and showed her photographs, Dains stopped believing it was an accident, she testified.
Dains said she broke up with Bohn after his arrest, but went to see him in the Cortland County Correctional Facility after he was indicted in June.
“I wanted to see what he would tell me,” Dains said. According to Dains, Bohn said he gave the two-year-old Benadryl because he thought her trouble breathing was from asthma.
Kassidy Dains did not have asthma, her mother testified. Dains said she questioned Bohn about why he didn’t tell her that her daughter was having trouble breathing.
“I was still super confused,” Dains said, crying, “like why he would hurt my child when she loved him unconditionally.”
Dains said she pretended to still care for Bohn in order to get more information from him.
“I just wanted to know what happened,” Dains said. “I felt like he was lying…he said that when this was all over he’d tell me the truth.” Dains said she assumed that he meant when the trial was over he would tell her what really happened.
In a series of combative exchanges, Public Defender Keith Dayton questioned Dains about the sworn statement she gave the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office the night of Kassidy Dains’ death, particularly her statement about why she left Bohn in January of 2017 when the couple were living together in Buffalo.
In her earlier testimony, Dains said she left because Bohn had physically abused her, but she told police after her daughter’s death it was because she wanted to move back to Cortland.
Dains said she lied to police about the previous domestic abuse incident in January 2017 because she thought then her daughter’s death was an accident and she wanted to help Bohn.
“I loved him,” she testified, sobbing. “At that time I still believed that Dorian didn’t do anything to Kass.”
Dayton asked her if she hadn’t told police that Bohn loved her and Kassidy Dains.
“I thought he did,” Dains said before rushing from the stand in tears.
After Krystal Dains recovered and took the stand again, Dayton questioned her about a child protective services investigation of her treatment of her son James when he was two. Dains admitted that when she was about 20-years-old she “smacked” her son after he kicked her in the face.
Dayton also asked Dains if she was diagnosed bipolar and if she was in mental health counseling currently.
Dains said she was in counseling and that she had a mild form of bipolar disorder that did not require medication.
Dains testified between tears that she had never hit or hurt Kassidy Dains and did not kill her.
“I loved her so much,” Dains said. “I would never do anything like this to her.”
‘She loved him’
Krystal Dains testified she met Bohn online in April 2017 when he stuck up for her in the comment section of a Facebook post where she was being cyberbullied. Dains sent him a private message thanking him and the pair began to talk over Facebook messages regularly, she said.
“He seemed like a nice guy,” Dains said. “He was very charming.”
The pair met in person in June, started dating in July and Dains decided to move in with Bohn, who lived in Buffalo with his brother, in August 2017.
Dains testified she thought at that time their relationship was “pretty good.”
Dains, who had full custody of Kassidy Dain, brought the two-year-old with her to Buffalo. The child bonded easily with Bohn, Dain said.
“She loved him,” Dain said, breaking down in tears. “She loved him very much.”