Pathologist: Baby's 1994 death may have resulted from fall



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Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 20 at 10:51 AM

New trial?

KVUE's Jim Bergamo reports

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Texas death row inmate, Cathy Lynn Henderson, wants a new trial, and Monday a pathologist testified he can't be sure Henderson killed a 3-month-old boy in 1994.

Lawyers for Henderson are hoping to persuade Judge Jon Wisser that today's science supports what Henderson has claimed all along -- that Brandon Baugh's death was from an accidental fall and was not a deliberate act of rage.

Henderson was baby-sitting 3-month old Brandon in 1994 when she claims the baby fell from her arms. Henderson testified she panicked and fled with the child's body.

Nineteen days later, Brandon was found about 60 miles away in a shallow grave.

Just days before her scheduled execution in 2007, she received a reprieve.

After looking at new scientific findings from Henderson's attorneys, the Travis County medical examiner at the time of the original trial, said he could no longer testify with absolute certainty whether Brandon's injuries were the result of an accidental or intentional act.

In court Monday, Brandon's parents and grandparents listened as defense lawyers -- in search of a new trial for Henderson -- called one of their expert witnesses to the stand who believes Brandon's death could have resulted from an accidental fall.

"Its extremely difficult, we came within two days of having this over with and having her executed and getting on with out lives, now were back in a courtroom and hearing what's basically a bunch of junk science that's basically going on over the death of my son," said Eryn Baugh, father.

"We think the science speaks for itself and demonstrates heard an account, an explanation in 1995 that doesn't describe accurately what the science now reveals, " said Michael Banks, defense attorney.

"I don't buy it one bit, you can get into physics as for having an infant dropped and the injuries that were sustained to it, but Brandon's skull was shattered," Baugh said.

The hearing is in recess until December 15 when the defense will present its third expert witness. Judge Wisser is expected to make his recommendation for or against a new trial to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sometime in January.

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