Infant’s previous injuries debated as potential evidence

Arguments were heard in Juneau Superior Court on Wednesday in the ongoing case of a man accused of hurting a baby so severely that she died from her injuries.

David J. Paul, 23, is charged with manslaughter and two counts of murder for allegedly causing the death of Rian Orr. The four-month old baby passed away in August 2010.

A judge threw out the original charges in June because Paul’s attorney successfully argued that Paul may’ve been coerced during interviews with police investigators. A grand jury returned with a new indictment recharging Paul in July.

Wednesday’s arguments centered on whether the baby’s previous injuries could be considered as evidence related to later injuries that ended the baby’s life. Defense attorney Eric Hedland argued that it can only be “included if it’s found that Paul committed those prior injuries.” Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp says identification is not a concern since Paul puts himself at the time and place of injury. Instead, the pivotal question is whether the baby was accidentally injured or intentionally harmed.

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