Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Attorneys at odds over Woodland infant’s death

By
From page A1 | April 24, 2014 |

WOODLAND — What happened to baby Samuel Stone?

The Woodland infant, one of a set of twins, was just 3 months old when he died on Oct. 9, 2012, with injuries that included bleeding to his brain and rib fractures in the process of healing.

Yolo County prosecutors say the wounds were the result of abuse inflicted by the baby’s father, Quentin Paul Stone, whose trial on felony and misdemeanor child endangerment charges began this week in Yolo Superior Court.

“Mr. Stone was the only adult in the house in the time frame that the injuries could have occurred,” Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Mount told a nine-man, three woman jury during opening statements earlier this week.

Mount described the damage to baby Samuel as a “constellation of injuries … that require a certain application of force,” none of which would occur naturally in a child.

The Yolo County grand jury indicted Stone, 40, on the child-endangerment charges last August following a five-day, closed-door hearing.

But Stone’s defense attorneys contend Samuel’s fatal condition was the result of being pulled off a bed by his toddler brother a month before he was hospitalized, and the family’s doctors failed to properly examine the infant even after his parents reported unusual vomiting and limpness in the days after the alleged fall.

By the time Samuel suffered an apparent seizure on Oct. 3, 2012, and was admitted to the pediatric intensive-care unit at the UC Davis Medical Center, it was too late to save him, the defense said.

“We’re going to show you that boy was not abused or mistreated in any way,” Supervising Deputy Public Defender Monica Brushia, defending Stone along with Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira, told the jury during her opening statement. “This trial is about Sam and his family and their tragedy.”

Stone’s family, including wife Sara Stone — a well-known soccer coach at Davis High School — are standing firmly behind the defendant, with a dozen or more relatives and friends sitting in on the trial proceedings. All have come to court wearing photos of the family taken during happier times, shortly after the twins were born.

Prosecutors launched their case Wednesday with an audio recording of the 911 call Stone placed on that October evening, reporting that his son was unresponsive and having trouble breathing inside the family’s Woodland home.

“I just went into his room and he was very limp,” Stone tells the dispatcher, the baby’s labored, irregular breathing audible in the background. “Can you hear that? That’s him.”

Ambulance paramedic Wendy Unmacht, one of the first responders to arrive on scene, described Samuel’s breathing as a “grunting sound.”

“(He) wasn’t breathing appropriately,” Unmacht said under questioning by prosecutor Robin Johnson. “The child had no purposeful movement — he wasn’t moving at all.”

Unmacht transported the infant to Woodland Memorial Hospital, only to return later to transfer him to a more specialized care facility at the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento. By then, Samuel was emitting a “high-pitched cry,” though he slept in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Stone also rode in the ambulance, displaying a demeanor that Unmacht described as “distraught.”

Earlier that evening, Stone and his wife had received the news that a brain scan revealed evidence of bleeding on both sides of Samuel’s brain.

“There was evidence of multiple areas of bleeding, some new and some old,” said Dr. Tully Wiedman, the Woodland Memorial Hospital emergency-room physician who was on duty at the time of Samuel’s arrival. “In all my years, this is the first time I’ve seen a baby with this level of bleeding.”

With no visible injuries to the baby’s head or skull, “I think this is most consistent with what they call ‘shaken baby,’ ” Wiedman testified, later adding that “low-level falls are a rare cause of brain injury.”

Wiedman recalled gathering the Stones to inform them of Samuel’s transfer to UCD “and give them an idea of what they might expect there.” Due to the nature of their son’s injuries, they would be “treated as suspects,” he warned.

Child Protective Services removed Samuel’s two brothers from the family’s home two days later.

The trial, which is expected to last about a month, resumes today in Judge Paul Richardson’s courtroom.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Willett bench is a labor of love

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

    Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    A home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Explorit: Experience nano this spring

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

    .

    Forum

    He needs them to pay up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

    Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

    By Our View | From Page: A14

     
    Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Sports

    Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Arts

    ‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

    Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
     
    DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Business

    After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics