After hung jury, shaken baby case returns to court

Retrial begins in shaken baby case

The Springboro man accused of allegedly shaking his fiance’s toddler into a vegetative state will be retried in Warren County starting today.

A jury in June was hung after eight hours of deliberations on one count of felonious assault and two counts of child endangering against Jason Milby. Judge Robert Peeler declared a mistrial, and Prosecutor David Fornshell a month later decided to retry the 30-year-old.

During the trial the jury learned Milby was babysitting the then 2-year-old boy and two of his siblings in July 2011, when the toddler suffered “neurologically devastating” injuries. The child cannot walk, talk, feed himself or see.

Fornshell said the injuries the boy sustained are consistent with someone who has been in a “horrific car accident or suffered a multi-story fall directly onto their head.” Fornshell is adamant Milby is the culprit.

“Milby is responsible for putting this child in a permanent vegetative state,” he said. “The explanations that the defense have provided as to how these injuries occurred defy any logic or common sense. This child was severely abused. The defense’s saving grace in the case thus far has simply been that nobody was in the room to witness the abuse going on, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t do this.”

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion could not be reached for comment, but said after the mistrial they polled the jurors and more than half felt there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Milby. Rion maintains the boy suffered several tumbles and accidents that could have caused the injuries.

Two of the doctors who testified in the first trial treated the boy. A new prosecution expert is expected to testify this time, and defense attorney Jon Paul Rion asked Peeler to disallow the testimony. Peeler ruled on Friday, saying because Rion didn’t identify the witness or fully explain his objections, the expert can testify. However, he said Rion has another chance to be heard on his objection prior to the witness taking the stand.

Fornshell said he couldn’t comment on the new medical expert, but Rion’s motion indicates the person is an alleged expert on “so-called” Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The toddler’s mother and grandmother both testified for the defense last time.

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