Mansor on trial for the death of infant son and assault of another

by: THE TIMES: JAIME VALDEZ - Kaliq Mansor of Metzger during opening statements in his murder trial on Tuesday.

(the times) A jury heard opening statements on Tuesday in the murder trial of Kaliq Michael Mansor, a Metzger man accused of killing his 11-week-old son Bryan in June of last year.

The charges against Mansor, 34, include two counts of murder by abuse, felony murder, criminal mistreatment, two counts of assault and two counts of criminal mistreatment of Bryan’s twin brother Ethan.

On the afternoon of June 12, 2011, Mansor called 911 and reported that his son, Bryan, was not breathing. He said the infant had started vomiting a few minutes before, and later claimed he had Googled for information on how to treat his son before calling paramedics.

Mansor’s Internet search history was later obtained by warrant, and detectives discovered someone used Mansor’s computer to search online for terms such as “father hates infant,” “can therapy help an abuser” and “Oregon child abuse laws.”

Bryan was pronounced dead on June 13, 2011, at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Dr. Dan Leonhardt, a physician and child abuse specialist who treated Bryan, concluded the infant had been physically abused.

Leonhardt noted extensive bruises on Bryan’s body, a healing rib fracture indicating previous abuse, and what Leonhardt characterized as “abusive head trauma.”

Medical Examiner Clifford Nelson performed an autopsy on Bryan and ruled the cause of death to be closed head injuries.

He concluded the manner of death was homicide.

Mansor was arrested shortly after.

Defense attorney Russell Barnett argued that Bryan’s death was the result of a traumatic brain injury dating back to June 8, 2011, when Bryan suffered a nearly 4-foot fall from his car seat.

Pattern of abuse

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Letourneau presided over opening statements. Deputy District Attorney Paul Maloney argued for the prosecution and informed the jury that the charges concerned not only Bryan, but Bryan’s twin brother Ethan as well. Ethan was removed from the Mansor residence after his brother was hospitalized. He now lives with his mother, who goes by the name Angela Foster. Foster was present on the first day of the trial.

“This is a reckless killing under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” Maloney told the court. “The homicide took place in the course of physical abuse of a child.”

The prosecution played a recording of Mansor’s 911 call, then detailed the timeline of response by paramedics, officers and hospital personnel. Maloney characterized the incident as suspicious, with Detective Timothy Fletcher photographing Ethan to document possible signs of abuse and Detective Robert Rookhuyzen applying for a search warrant for the Mansor home that same day. Maloney added that social worker Margie Taylor of the Department of Health and Human Services decided to take Ethan into protective custody, and that Dr. James Lindsay of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center was immediately concerned that Bryan had been abused.

“The defendant’s explanations were not consistent with Bryan’s injuries,” Maloney said.

The jury saw photos of Bryan and Ethan the week before Bryan’s death, as well as an image of Bryan in the hospital and likely brain dead. Maloney showed Bryan’s cranial CT scans, which revealed a skull fracture. That, coupled with the fact both Bryan and Ethan had suffered fractured ribs, pointed to a pattern of abuse, Maloney said.

“These injuries to the back are commonly associated with ‘shaken baby syndrome,’” he added.

“We will be convinced, much like the doctors, much like the officers and medical personnel were, that Bryan died at the hands of another. That he died as a result of a violent shaking and head compacting, which led to extreme trauma to his brain. He stopped breathing, and he died,” Maloney told the jury. “That this was a pattern, a practice of abuse. (Mansor) knew he was hurting his kids. He just couldn’t tell anyone. He just couldn’t ask anyone for help. Until it was too late, and Bryan died.”

Mansor is not charged with premeditated murder, and the jury will not be asked to weigh in on sentencing should they find Mansor guilty.

Behavior changes ignored

Barnett characterized Mansor as a caring father who had recently been offered a prime position as engineer at Intel. He had no history of abuse, Barnett said.

“The government’s theory is that Bryan was fine, his father then picked him up and shook the life out of him. That does not fit the facts. The fall was never investigated,” Barnett said. “But Kaliq Mansor’s computers were seized on the night that Bryan was hospitalized.”

After the fall, the Mansors took Bryan to his pediatrician, and were told to be on the lookout for symptoms of traumatic brain injury, which include change in appetite, change in sleep patterns and change in overall behavior. These were all characteristics Bryan was exhibiting the day his father called 911, Barnett said.

“The parents’ reports of Bryan’s changes in behavior were ignored” by police and doctors, he added.

Barnett argued that because law enforcement officials had been trained by Leonhardt to recognize signs of child abuse, the doctor’s findings were not properly questioned or put to a second opinion.

Barnett downplayed the significance of the search history on Mansor’s computer.

“How many of us could be accurately judged on the contents of our computer searches?” Barnett asked the jury. “Things related to the specific injuries of Ethan and Bryan — those were not search terms.”

The defense played video footage of Mansor describing the incident to police. Mansor recalls both “swinging” and “shaking” Bryan in an attempt to clear the infant’s airways and restore his breathing.

Barnett noted that Mansor didn’t try to minimize how much he shook his son, and was honest about grabbing the infant by the hips.

“The evidence is going to show that all he did was try to provide information to try and figure out what was wrong with his son. His actions were that of a father desperate to get his son breathing again,” he said.

Barnett also charged that the DHS intimidated Foster into distancing herself from Mansor, and that she divorced her husband in order to secure custody of Ethan.

“The evidence is going to show that there was a reckless act — the rush to judgment by 10:45 the following morning that this was child abuse, and that the reckless act led to the disregard of important information,” Barnett said.

Witness testimony will continue through the week, with Washington County sheriff’s deputies and attending medical staff expected to take the stand.

originally published Sep 20 2012

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