A Cortland County judge refused Tuesday to throw out the conviction of Dorian G. Bohn for the murder of his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter prior to his Thursday sentencing, but will hear later this spring defense arguments to set aside his sentence based on claims of bias, tampering and misconduct.
In her decision filed late Tuesday afternoon, Judge Julie Campbell noted the County Public Defender’s office missed the March 5 deadline to file a motion to vacate Bohn’s conviction, filing a motion of more than 1,100 pages on March 6 instead. Another letter filed Monday claiming new evidence of witness tampering was discovered by the defense over the weekend and requesting the conviction be thrown out, an evidentiary hearing called and a special prosecutor assigned to the case was also rejected, according to Campbell’s decision.
Bohn is set to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Thursday for second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, as well as endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. The 29-year-old McGraw man was found guilty of murdering Kassidy Dains, who died on April 19 of a depressed skull fracture after sustaining 50 injuries while in Bohn’s care.
Monday’s letter from Bohn’s defense attorneys was not properly filed, lacked original copies of affidavits and a notice of motion, and was issued just three days before Bohn’s sentencing, Campbell wrote in her decision.
“This late and improper filing is an apparent attempt to delay sentencing,” Campbell writes in her decision.
Should the defense team file the original affidavits with the court, Campbell writes she will consider a motion to set aside Bohn’s sentence. The District Attorney’s Office has until May 24 to file opposing motions, according to the decision.
In the defense letter filed Monday, Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Marris claims two new defense witnesses were threatened and harassed regarding their sworn statements that a wall dent with the girl’s hair in it and some of her bruises existed before the child’s death.
Marris also writes that the witnesses- the child’s uncle, Joseph Hinkle, and the uncle’s fianceé, Abrianna Torbitt -were also denied aid from the city police. Hinkle and Torbitt say in their affidavits they are being harassed by Kassidy Dains’ mother, Krystal Dains, as well as her grandmother, Kelley Hewes, and other family members. Krystal Dains is Hinkle’s sister and Hewes is his mother.
In a phone interview with The Cortland Voice on Tuesday, Krytsal Dains denied the defense team’s accusations. District Attorney Patrick Perfetti also denied Dains threatened Torbitt during a Facebook conversation as the defense claims in a motion filed Tuesday that included an 89-page printout of Dains’ messages.
The Cortland City Police Department has not received any complaints that an officer denied aid to Torbitt or Hinkle, said Lt. Michael Strangeway on Tuesday. The department investigates any reports of officer misconduct it receives, Strangeway said.
Campbell states in her decision the conflict between the child’s family stems from the defense team’s actions after the trial. “Based upon the content of the documents, defense counsel’s post-trial tactics have cultivated this family feud,” she writes.
“The ‘he said, she said’ is a distraction,” Dains said Tuesday. “We forgot what the main focus here is - getting justice for Kassidy.”