Colo. man convicted of negligence in son’s death
DENVER ” A jury on Tuesday acquitted a Boulder County man of causing numerous broken bones and other injuries that killed his infant son but convicted him of criminal negligent child abuse.
Alex Midyette, 29, faces up to 16 years in prison following the March 2006 death of his 11-week-old son, Jason. A sentencing date wasn’t immediately set. Midyette’s attorney, Paul McCormick, said his client could receive probation.
Midyette had been free on $750,000 bail, but Boulder County District Judge Lael Montgomery doubled that amount to $1.5 million after the conviction.
Prosecutors said Jason suffered 37 broken bones and argued the injuries were inflicted by his father. The defense said Jason had a disease that was misdiagnosed as abuse.
Midyette’s wife, Molly Midyette, was convicted of child abuse in December 2007 for failing to get medical attention for Jason. She is serving a 16-year sentence.
Jurors acquitted Midyette of a more serious charge of knowingly or recklessly causing the injuries that led to the boy’s death. That charge carried a penalty of up to 48 years in prison.
“From the verdict it seems likely that the jury believed that (Jason) had some sort of underlying disease,” McCormick said.
Prosecutors Colette Cribari and Ken Kupfner declined comment. Prosecutors and defense attorneys planned to meet in Boulder Thursday to work out a sentencing hearing schedule.
During closing arguments Friday, Kupfner laid out the prosecution’s theory that Jason died of injuries inflicted by Midyette.
Kupfner said Jason suffered broken bones throughout his short life at the hands of frustrated first-time parents who would squeeze and twist him and pull his limbs. Kupfner also argued that Midyette fractured Jason’s head by slamming it on a changing table and that the boy soon slipped into a coma.
The defense argued that the Midyettes didn’t know the extent of Jason’s injuries until he slipped into the coma because he was a quiet child. Doctors called by the defense testified that some of the fractures were really bone abnormalities indicative of a metabolic disease.
Defense attorneys said the Midyettes were loving parents who took their child to doctors five times during his 76 days of life.
Midyette, the son of a prominent Boulder architect, removed his jewelry and placed it on the defense table shortly before being handcuffed and led away from the courtroom.
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