The doctor who performed the autopsy on 6-month-old Larry Earl Lord testified Wednesday that the boy’s skull fracture to the back of his head was not the result of accidental blow or a previous injury.
Dr. Clare Bryce, former deputy medical examiner in Maine, said that it was an inflicted injury that caused the child’s death.
“This is the kind of complex fracture we most typically see in motor vehicle accidents or in a high fall,” the pathologist, who now works at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said.
Bryce, who performed the autopsy on May 8, 2015, the day after the baby died at what is now Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, took the stand on the second day of Jessee Mackin’s jury-waived trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
Mackin, 36, of Millinocket has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. The baby was born Oct. 24, 2014, in Houlton to Anthony Lord and Jamie Clark.
Anthony Lord, 38, of Crystal is serving two life sentences at the Maine State Prison in Warren in connection with a two-county rampage in July 2015, two months after his son’s death. He was sentenced Aug. 8, 2017, after he pleaded guilty to murdering Kyle Hewitt, 22, of Benedicta and Kevin Tozier, 58, of Lee; shooting and wounding Kim Irish, 57, Clayton McCarthy, 57, and Carlton Eddy, 52, all of Benedicta; and assaulting Kary Mayo, 40, of Silver Ridge with a hammer.
At his sentencing, Lord blamed his actions on the loss of his son and his frustration over how long the investigation was taking. He was not allowed to attend Mackin’s trial, according to the attorney general’s office.
Dr. Sally Kirkpatrick, a neurologist at Pen Bay Hospital in Rockland, on Wednesday supported Bryce’s conclusions.
She testified that the skull fracture, because it impacted the boy’s brain stem, would have caused an immediate loss of consciousness and cessation of breathing.
That is what Mackin told Maine State Police detectives happened on May 5, 2015, when the boy suddenly stopped breathing without explanation. Audio recordings and a video reenactment with Mackin were played Wednesday for Superior Court Justice William Anderson.
Mackin, who is free on $25,000 cash bail, had been dating the baby’s mother for about two months when Larry died, according to the prosecution. The family had been displaced by a fire that destroyed their apartment eight days before the baby was injured.
The trial will resume Thursday with Clark expected to take the stand.
If convicted of manslaughter, Mackin faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.