Updated Thurs., March 28, 2019, at 3:10 p.m.
CORTLAND, N.Y. — Judge Julie Campbell had only one question for Dorian G. Bohn as she sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison on Thursday in Cortland County Court for murdering his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter: Why?
Campbell said Thursday she watched Bohn, 30, as the jury returned a guilty verdict on Feb. 4 on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, as well as endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Bohn displayed “absolutely no reaction” when the jury found him guilty of murdering Kassidy Dains, who died on April 19 of a depressed skull fracture after sustaining 50 injuries while in Bohn’s care, Campbell noted.
Campbell wondered Thursday if that was because Bohn was in shock or if he expected the verdict “...because he knew what happened to that little girl.”
“In the end, he was the only one there and the only one who knows exactly what happened,” Campbell said. “That brings me back to my question as the verdict was being read: why?”
“Why” was the question Krystal Dains, the toddler’s mother, put to Bohn at sentencing, as well.
“Dorian, as Kassidy’s mother, I deserve to know why,” Dains said. Kassidy Dains’ revealed what had happened to her through the injuries on her body, Dains continued. “But what she didn’t tell us is why.”
“There’s nothing that she could have done at the age of two that she deserved to have her life taken from her,” Krystal Dains said.
Bohn, who remained stoic even as he was sentenced to the maximum allowed prison term, maintained his innocence Thursday.
Public Defender Keith Dayton told Campbell that while he disputes his conviction, Bohn is sorry for the anguish his family and Kassidy Dains’ family has endured.
Dains’ death was “a horrible, horrible tragedy,” Dayton said.
“Young Kassidy Dains died and she died in his care and he’s going to have to live with that for the rest of his life,” Dayton said, referring to Bohn. “That weight will always be on his shoulder. That weight will always be on his conscience.”
When given an opportunity to speak, Bohn declined.
“I have nothing to say, Your Honor,” he said.
District Attorney Patrick Perfetti asked Campbell to impose the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison after struggling through tears as he addressed the judge.
Perfetti pointed to the 52 injuries found on the toddler’s body that could not have come from a single fall from a bunk bed, which was what the defense claimed. The child suffered a severe blow to the torso that tore part of her digestive system from her abdominal wall, Perfetti said. She also suffered rectal bleeding, he said.
There was “the inexplicable presence of alcohol in Kassidy’s bloodstream,” Perfetti said, as well as Benadryl.
There was also a dent in the wall with the girl’s hair in it at the same height as Kassidy Dains’ head, Perfetti said.
Bohn never told Krystal Dains her child was seriously injured and struggling to breathe while he was texting with her while she was at work that night, he said. He also waited 90 minutes to call 911, Perfetti told Campbell. Meanwhile, pressure was building on Kassidy Dains’ brain, interacting with the parts that controlled her breathing, he said.
Once Bohn called, he waited a minute and 16 seconds to tell first responders the girl was not breathing, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth McGrath told jurors during closing arguments on Feb. 4.
Perfetti also noted Thursday Kassidy Dains was not the first child Bohn gave Benadryl to. Bohn gave one of his own children an overdose of the allergy medicine that causes drowsiness and the child had to be taken to the hospital, Perfetti said. While at the hospital, Bohn pretended to go on a cigarette break, but actually left, abandoning the child, he said.
Campbell noted in her sentencing Bohn’s only other conviction was for driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, a felony, in 2011.
At sentencing, Dayton asked Campbell to redact references to the hospital incident and a domestic violence incident report from the record. Campbell refused.
Dayton requested Campbell sentence Bohn to the minimum of 15 years to life in prison, citing his “non-violent, family-oriented character.”
In a memorandum filed with the court before today’s sentencing, Dayton said he interviewed Bohn’s young daughter and she said Bohn was attentive and loving. “Dorian was her friend and her dad, and was unlike other fathers because he would play with them unlike the other adults,” Dayton wrote.
In a letter written by the nine-year-old, included in the memo and entitled “Dad’s relationship with me,” the girl writes to Campbell, “It’s sad to have him in jail for who knows how long… I really want him home, out of prison clothing, in my arms. At least before prom (sic).”
The memorandum only offers statements of “an infantile faith in the defendant,” Perfetti said, adding the facts of the case merit the maximum sentence for Bohn.
“He chose to let my daughter lay there dying,” Krystal Dains said, adding the toddler will never get to go to kindergarten, get married or become a mother. “Dorian, you are a monster.”