Sunday, March 1, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

     
     
    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8