Mistrial declared in aggravated child abuse case

Prosecutors said when Robert Elliott III brought his baby girl to Athens-Limestone Hospital, she was in
Prosecutors said when Robert Elliott III brought his baby girl to Athens-Limestone Hospital, she was in "dire condition" and was rushed to Huntsville Hospital. It was there that medical professionals determined she "was the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The judge called off the trial when the court was informed the defense attorney had a stomach virus.

Posted: Sep 27, 2018 2:59 AM
Updated: Sep 27, 2018 11:18 AM

The trial of a man charged with shaking his infant daughter to the point of causing what investigators describe as “multiple, life-threatening injuries” was halted before it could really get underway.

The trial of Robert Elliott III began with jury selection on Monday, September 24 and scheduled opening statements for 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

However, before court could be convened that morning, Kasey Beaty, wife of defense attorney Lucas Beaty, contacted the court to inform them that Lucas Beaty was “suffering from a stomach virus.”

Because the court had already empaneled a jury, Judge Chadwick Wise declared a mistrial and set a new trial date for November 26 at 9 a.m.

On Wednesday, Judge Wise also rejected a motion by the defense to exclude the second interview done between Elliott and Limestone County Sheriff’s investigators back in 2014.

It was in that second interview that Elliott admitted to shaking his daughter, but said he didn’t intend to harm her. According to court records, during that exchange he recounted “putting the baby down and picking her up too roughly and dropping her on the floor, all of which he explained were accidental.”

According to the motion, the defense notes that Investigator John McCormick and Investigator Leslie Ramsey read Elliott his Miranda rights and had him sign a document of understanding, following his first interview with them on May 31, 2014.

On June 4, 2014, the defense notes that Elliott requested a second interview, but did not have his Miranda rights read to him again, arguing that the omission constitutes a violation of Elliott’s Fifth Amendment rights.

Attorney Lucas Beaty also notes for the record that “While there is no per se rule requiring law enforcement to Mirandize a suspect before each and every subsequent interrogation, circumstances may dictate that an initial advice of rights has become stale.”

“The lack of a remainder, along with other coercive acts by investigators may warrant the suppression of a subsequent statement.”

Judge Wise disagreed with the assertion and rejected the motion. He said in his order that the court would address any further objections to the use of Elliott’s second interview with investigators during the trial.

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