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Father freed after years in jail on charge of killing infant son

Crime, Law and JusticeJustice System

A man who spent more than three years in a Sacramento jail on charges that he killed his 4-month-old son was released Thursday after prosecutors told a judge they could no longer prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had inflicted the injuries.

Everett Bobbylee Quinn, now 24, was arrested about a year after his infant son died in a hospital July 29, 2007. Quinn and his girlfriend called 911 on May 19, 2007, to report that the baby had become unresponsive after vomiting blood.

The coroner's office at the time ruled that the baby died of brain disease brought on by blunt force and rotational injuries associated with "shaken baby syndrome," the Sacramento Bee reported.

Due to medical assessments that acute blunt force trauma had occurred, and that Quinn had been caring for the baby at the time, prosecutors arrested the father. But a medical review of the case sought by a defense attorney cast doubt on those findings, specifically, that the trauma was inflicted in an immediate and acute fashion.

With doctors now casting doubt on the acuteness of the injuries -- and therefore the timing of when they occurred -- prosecutors told a Sacramento judge in mid-January that they could no longer prove that Quinn was the perpetrator, the Bee reported. The judge agreed and signed off on Quinn's release.

Differing testimony from doctors on what could have caused the injuries also soured the prosecution's case, though the district attorney's office still believes the baby's death is a homicide.

Quinn told Sacramento police shortly after the incident that he had laid the baby, named Heratio Wysinger, down after he started vomiting blood to yell for his girlfriend to call 911. Police Det. Jason Kirtlan told the Bee that Quinn's story stayed consistent when he was interviewed again after Heratio died months later.

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jason.wells@latimes.com
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