ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Resor trial starts Monday

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler has subpoenaed 44 witnesses in the case against shaken baby suspect Jeffrey D. Resor. Eight of those people are Norwalk police officers and one is the victim's mother. The trial on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment begins with jury selection Monday morning in Huron County Common Pleas Court. It is expected to last two weeks.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

 

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler has subpoenaed 44 witnesses in the case against shaken baby suspect Jeffrey D. Resor. Eight of those people are Norwalk police officers and one is the victim’s mother.

The trial on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment begins with jury selection Monday morning in Huron County Common Pleas Court. It is expected to last two weeks.

Resor, 27, formerly of 33-E Bouscay Ave., is accused of shaking 10-month-old Donavan Lykins to death Feb. 24, 2007 while baby-sitting for his then-girlfriend, Gwen M. Herber. The boy died later that day at Akron Children’s Hospital. Resor has been in custody at the Huron County Jail on a $1 million bond since April 12, 2007.

Leffler declined to discuss the case Friday.

Previously Leffler said the defendant and Herber started dating in December 2006. They are no longer a couple.

“She said she had known of him for a number of years,” Leffler said.

The prosecutor also said abuse — specifically shaking the child — had been ongoing and accused Resor of shaking the boy the day before his death, causing brain bleeding.

Summit County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler ruled the boy’s death was a homicide, adding the infant possibly died of shaken baby syndrome (SBS). Authorities had called the situation suspicious and mysterious, ordered an autopsy, but hadn’t determined a suspected motive for Resor.

Defense attorney K. Ronald Bailey, after his client was indicted April 20, 2007, said SBS cases are “fairly rare” and wouldn’t describe Resor as violent.

Bailey did not return a call to be interviewed for this story.

About 9:45 a.m. Feb. 24, a children services investigator reported possible child abuse involving the boy, Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Todd Temple wrote in court records unsealed two months later. A man in a 9-1-1 call about 1:10 a.m. said “the child was choking on his vomit and they needed EMS,” Temple wrote.

It’s unknown if the caller was Resor.

The infant first went to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. A LifeFlight helicopter later flew him to the Akron hospital. The Akron medical staff reported the boy had hemorrhaging in his eyes, which was consistent with SBS-related injuries.

Temple, the investigating officer, has said the infant went to Fisher-Titus twice within the two weeks before he died.

In May 2007, retired Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Bowman was appointed to preside over the case. This avoided a conflict of interest for Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway, who was the Norwalk law director when Resor was arrested and initially charged.

About one week later, Bowman denied Bailey’s motion to prohibit the baby from being called a victim.

“It’s unnatural not to refer to the child as a victim,” Leffler said in court. “It’s nothing the jury can’t handle.”

In January, Bailey asked for the charges against Resor to be dismissed, which Bowman turned down.

Resor’s attorney accused Leffler of failing to “timely provide exculpatory medical records months after being ordered to do so.” Bailey said the delay “totally frustrated, hampered and stalled the defense of this case.”

Some of the records Bailey requested were from Dec. 31, 2006, when he said the infant went to the Fisher-Titus emergency room twice when he stopped breathing.

Mitchell Case, the boy’s maternal grandfather, expressed frustration in mid-April about how long the case was taking.

“Emotionally, she (Herber) is still going through withdrawal,” Case said. “The whole family misses the little guy.”

In mid-May, Bailey and Resor turned down an undisclosed plea deal offered by Leffler several months earlier. Bailey said his client “turned (it) down because he’s innocent and wants to go to trial.”

Bowman, on June 8, ruled the Summit County coroner and an Akron pediatric critical care specialist could testify for the state about their knowledge of the case and SBS. The judge also ruled a Maryland neurological surgeon could take the stand for the defense.

Comments

linkinparkfreak40

Of course Gwen is suffering withdrawal!!! Her little boy was MURDERED NEEDLESSLY BY JEFF RESOR!!!!! I don't believe in the death penalty but I'll change my views for him... I can't stop crying as I'm reading this article. It's devastating that this has to even happen... This is a terrible thing for Gwen to have to face. I'm there for her every step of the way if she needs me.....

Aunt Katie

It is really to bad we have to be going to trial for all this but I am glad that we might be getting somewhere finally. All I would ask is that everyone show your support for Gwen and Shaun as well as the whole family, just remember that we all hurt but they both lost a son very traumatically and they both need all the support they can get. Much Love to all DONAVAN supporters.

bree81

I know that Jeff is not the one kill the baby it was his own mother. I think that Jeff need to be home with his family and the court need to take the mother to jail she the one who kill him.

bree81

I know Jeff Resor real good and I know that he will not hurt a baby he love kids. I will pray for Jeff Resor and his whole family. I know that Jeff Resor did not murder Donavan Lykins because he is not like that at all he was rasie by good parnets and they would not raise thier kids like that. I heard someone that Gwen Herber took her son to the hostipal and they ask if she think that Donavan would need a baby flu shot or a adult flu shot and she said that he need a adlut flu shot. I think that people need to stop coming up to Jeff Resor family and said that he is going to prison because I know that he is coming home to be with his family. I hope that when Jeff Resor is found not guilty for killing Donavan Lykins that people will look for Jeff Resor and said we are sorry that we said what we did about you. I think that Norwalk Poilce Dept need to drop the charge against Jeff Resor and look at Gwen Herber beacuse I know that she is the one who kill Donavan Lykins not Jeff Resor. I wish that I can send Jeff Resor parnets the one millions bond so they can get Jeff out of jail and he can be where he belong home with his family not in jail. I know that Jeff Resor is not a bad person he is a good person he would not hurt a kid he love kids he has two of his only. I am going to write Jeff Resor and tell him that I will help him if he need it because I know that you are not a murder at all. There are people that post comments that they want to see Jeff Resor in prison they need to said they want to see him with his family where he belong because he did not kill Donavan Lykins it was Gwen Herber.

just plain disgusted

I think Bree81 needs to go back and read what she has typed before she clicks post comment. It sounds like she is on a 5th grade level at best. I had to stop reading the nonsensical rant because it made my head hurt.

the mom

as for being raised by good parents, that really doesn't mean a thing. kids take what we teach them and it's their responsibility (and our hope as parents) that they use the morals and values we taught them. people like him--goes in one ear and out the other. bree 81: go take your ged class over because you missed vital information like spelling and grammar........................

bree81

This to spidbrt and Just Plain Disgusted I think that you need leave people alone because you are no better than them. I will be there for Jeff Resor and his family and I think that they one need to be for Jeff and not for the state. I know Jeff Resor and I know that he would not hurt a baby like this. This for katie and linkinparkfreak40 you people do not know Jeff Resor at all so I think that you need to stop saiding stuff about Jeff Resor and still you get know the guy you heard me. Jeff Resor is a good man and I know him very good.

LBJim

As soon as i saw this article i knew Linkinparkfreak would be on here calling Jeff a murderer. FYI, we have this thing in America called a trial by jury and they decide whether someone is guilty. Also Linkinparkfreak you obviously are not passionate about issues you supposedly are against like the Death Penalty if you support them in one case but not others. I can guarantee IF Jeff is found guilty,he isn't going to get sentenced to the Death Penalty.

Bree, all I can say is wow... I haven't seen the English Language destroyed so horribly since the last Rocky movie.

bree81

This to LBJim thank you for you said about Jeff is my cousin and I know that he would not do this I know that the mother did it but she will not tell no one at all because she want Jeff to go down for it not her. Please pray for me his trail start today at 9:00 a.m. I think that someone people want to say stuff about him they do not know him at all.

just plain disgusted

I didn't say anything about your cousin I have no opinion on him or his trial. You however have only made your cousin and yourself look ignorant with your misspelled rant in which you have managed to mutilate the English language. If you can't spell by a dictionary and USE it!

just plain disgusted

sorry BUY a dictionary and use it. After my 8 1/2 hour shift my fingers are not working so well.

cannotbelieveit

To bree81 - that's right, he is your cousin. So what does that say about you? What about Jeff's own kids. Where are they and why is he not allowed to see them again?

linkinparkfreak40

As for the people who hate me and think that just because I have an honest opinion about Jeff doesn't mean that I'm not entitled to my opinion... I know Jeff too and I wouldn't put it past him.. Even if he does get out of jail, Gwen and Shaun will still have lost their little boy... As for my opinion on the death penalty, I don't really care about what happens as long as he is convicted.. As for you bree, learn how to spell and use a dictionary or a thesaurus and use the brains that God gave you.. Either that or go back to school.. And LBJim, you can bash me all you want, it doesn't take any skin off my nose...

cberry25

Well I am one of the mothers of Jeffs children. All I have to say is the jury will decide what Jeff does with the rest of his life. I think people need to let other people say what they want on here. With Jeff seeing his kids is not allowed b/c I have a case still opened and his rights to visit my son are suspend. We don't even live in the same state anymore. My child is living a normal life now! Thats all that matters to me! But the truth will come out so just let people say what they want to say on here its just peoples opinions! Thats all JUST OPINIONS

linkinparkfreak40

crystal i feel bad for you... i'm glad that you made a good decision in getting your children as far from jeff as possible before something tragic happened to them as well.... i'm just upset that this had to happen to an innocent child period....

DEAR ABBE

First off, 'NO' I don't know any of these people and let me offer my deepest condolences to the family. I am so very sorry that such a tragic thing has happened to this baby boy. Dearest Donovan, you're in God's hands now, you will never hurt again. You are safe in his loving arms in Heavon.

Now, onto what I want to know about this article. Go back up and look into this man's eyes. Look closely and for at least a minute. All you parents out there, would you leave your baby boy with a man that had that look to his eyes?

~~~Defense attorney K. Ronald Bailey, after his client was indicted April 20, 2007, said SBS cases are “fairly rare” and wouldn’t describe Resor as violent.~~~ How the heck would she know this? From sitting in a questioning room for a few minutes talking with him? Of course he isn't going to act violant knowing he's up for these charges.

POSSIBLY SBS??? How are they going to convict someone on a possibility??? Either it was or it was not SBS. Did the autopsy show anything else?

At 1:10 am, the child is choking on his own vomit. That isn't going to cause SBS. And it also does not cause hemmoriaging in the eyes. Why was the child in the hospital twice in two weeks before this? Was that also deemed abuse?

Here's another question...In a previous post by someone with a lesser vocab and understanding of the English language he/she says that the mother had him to the hospital for a flu shot and the Dr's asked if she thought he needed an adult or a child's dose....Since when does a Dr. ask a parent what kind of dosage to give?? And why the hell would they give him an adult dose anyway? And, if he were given an adult dose, and although I'm not a Physician, I highly doubt an adult dose would cause bruising on his brain.
IF this man did it, IF he caused this precious childs death, may he get the death penalty without delay, without sitting in prison doing absolutely nothing, no cares in the world. Room and board free, fed daily, excersize daily, educational courses, internet access (yes, some prisons have it)and I bet he finds GOD! Let him be put to death the same way he put Donovan to death.
PS, if I misspelled any words, I do appologize to the spelling police!

David Deerest.

crystal wrote on Jun 16, 2008 10:04 PM:

" Well I am one of the mothers of Jeffs children."

This is the problem.

just plain disgusted

Dear Abbe, you are right no physician or nurse is going to ask what dosage that is what we are trained to know. This person doesn't know what in the he!! they are talking about. If there were any suspicion whatsoever about the mother's guilt she would have been arrested also and would also be on trial. I agree with what you said about his eyes also he looks evil in that picture.

Deer Dave, you are so right!

swiss family

it is really too bad that they haven't showed the back of Jeff's head, so everyone can see the giant tattoo he has there..

the only reason that this is relevant is because it shows the lack of good judgement that this guy displays.. and if he has such bad judgement with this.. he probably has bad judgement in the other areas in his life.. like should he shake this innocent child to p!ss off his girlfriend or not...

in my opinion.. this guy is sooooooo guilty, it seems like a waste of time to even have a trial.. but i guess that everyone deserves their day in court...or so it seems.. except 10 month old babies!!!who were murdered!!

TCN

JEFF IS INNOCENT!
I pray for Jeff and his family.
It is a terrible thing to be falsely accused!
It's a terrible thing that he'S had to spend over a year in jail for something he didn't do.
GWEN should be on trial for Abuse and Neglect!
I strongly urge everyone to pray for Jeff.

Aunt Katie

Listen to yourselves arguing over the english language, arguing over who is right and who is wrong. In all honesty the important thing here is that Donavan is gone and though he rest in the arms of Jesus never to feel pain again he died suffering horribly. I saw him in that hospital room and then laying in his casket. Blame isn't gonna bring him back nothing will but I just wanted to say if you all want truth go sit in on the trial and listen to what is being said inside the court room with the Jury and go from facts not from what you read or hear from other people only then can you make an educated decision. God Bless you all and let him help you find the strength to be above all the nonsense. We are all entitled to an opinion but isn't violence in the world what gets us into these situations where innocent people die? Think about it......

bree81

People need to stop saiding stuff about me and my cousin Jeff he is a good father and for him not seeing his children he can see his children but one live far away and the other live in norwalk. His older son is coming back here to live and I think that he will see them when he coming home to be with his family where he belong. I am gald that Jeff is my cousin and I know that he will not hurt a little baby so I think that everyone need to leave Jeff and his family alone but no one is better than no one else.I think that everyone need to start talking good about Jeff I hope that everyone heard me to.

David Deerest.

This is just sad. All the way around.
" Well I am one of the mothers of Jeffs children."
There's your sign....

Glad I didn't get called for jury duty.

cberry25

I think bree81 needs to get her facts right. My son will never live in the state of Ohio again. Jeff is not a good father he is now $8,000 in back child support and he doesn't even remember when his sons birthday is. Also we have given Jeffs mom and dad our phone number to call and talk with my son but do you think any of them called to say happy birthday or to see how is school going. NO!!! I thank God everyday that my son is not like his sperm donor.

almirati

There is absolutely no evidence that a human being can physically shake a baby and cause bleeding in the brain. This was proven in 1987. Why are we even still arresting people for this in 2008 let alone debating it in courtrooms?

Not paying child support makes him a deadbeat, not a murderer, by the way. One does not necessarily equate with the other by virtue of the first existing or the second existing first.

Babies are born with subdural hematomas through natural vaginal child birth. Chronic rebleeds are also being debated hotly in the medical community right now because there simply isn't enough proof available either way to arrest someone about this.

This is a grave injustice to Donovan that no one wants to find out what REALLY happened to cause him to die. We just want a convenient scapegoat instead.

There are neurosurgeons, forensic pathologists, biomechanical engineers, and others with lots of letters behind their names performing experiments proving this does not exist. How much longer to we have to tear families apart and point fingers when it's our own culpability that causes us to suspect a once-loving parent of doing demented things to begin with?

I for one would like the truth for a change. When this poor man gets emotionally blackmailed and coerced into a plea we can all sit back and smile and feel "safe" again because after all if it wasn't a chronic subdural rebleeding then the rest of our children are safe, aren't they? We just can put our heads back into the sand and plug up our ears and sing "la, la, la" until the noise goes away. If Donovan was killed by this man in our minds we can pretend that our children are safe.

Well guess what! They're not. Whatever is happening to these poor babies is happening all over the U.S., the U.K. and Australia and a few other countries. Yes that's right, not the whole world because I guess some countries don't shake their children. Make that make sense since you're all so good at logic and then go stick your heads back in the sand again like good little myopic citizens and don't ask too many questions.

Then we can all convince ourselves that all the babies are safe again.

almirati

The mother nor the father appear to be guilty of anything in this. I wish everyone would calm down and stop trying to blame one person for disgusting acts of torture and rationally reason out what we know: nothing.

In fact the medical community keeps arguing the whole shaken baby syndrome concept and has been able to conclude: nothing.

That's right, nothing. Why? Because every time we do experiments they prove that humans cannot shake a baby and cause these injuries.

What can? Car accidents going 60 mph and causing whiplash symptoms can. A human being cannot shake an infant 60 mph. It's impossible.

Bleeding on the brain in an otherwise healthy appearing baby can have happened as I said below with a subdural hematoma being created during childbirth. An innocent childbirth with normal labor could cause a SDH.

Why are we so eager to blame someone before we even have a trial commence? Has the State of Ohio developed a psychosis?

swiss family

to "almirati" you are a real piece of work.. you make up statistics and throw out "facts" as if they were true just because you say that they are true, and back them up with big impressive words too !!! well anyone can look in a medical book and use those big medical words to sound as if they know what they are talking about.

the truth though is that an adult, contrary to what you say, can and have shaken babies hard enough to give the baby these kind of injuries!!! it happens everyday, sadly.. and it appears to have happened in this poor babies case!

go get any teddy bear , with about the same size and weight as this child was, and grab it , hold it up and shake it back and forth, do you see what the teddy bear is doing?? his head is flopping back and forth, which in any living creature would cause severe injuries..

so i say that it is you who has your head in the sand.. you refuse to believe that adults can. or would induce such critical damage to helpless infants.. sadly, it happens daily, and on a world wide basis.. and it appears to have happened here

judyjb

Actually, Almirati did not make up statistics and throw out facts. Contrary to what many believe, there are doctors that contest what mainstream believes in. If one also researches SBS and the history surrounding it, it was coined in 1974 by Dr. Caffey. This same doctor who based a constellation of symptoms to be attributed to shaken a child was and is still based on a theory. Dr. Caffey, in fact, admitted short comings in his original basis for the theory but that is conveniently forgotten. Second, the constellation of injuries has evolved by the doctors to whatever they want it to be just so the do gooders put away evil killers at all cost to include justice. What used to be three primary symptoms can be a hematoma with or without one or both eyes with retinal hemorrhages and with or without bruising/broken bones. Kind of scary if you think about it because anyone can be home with a child and maybe due to a short fall, vaccination reaction or any underlying medical condition, that child could die and the last person with the child is condemned to guilt. Back to Almirati's comments, look up some research on biomechanics and shaken baby syndrome, here are three:
http://www.jpands.org/vol9no3/us...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubm...
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/cont...
Just because the entire doctor community does not go along with the theory of SBS, it doesn't make them quakes. These doctors all receive the same medical training so it's only fair to hear them out and perhaps being on this crusade to convict anyone, spend some money on real research to resolve whether SBS is real or not. SBS is the only crime that can cause a person to be convicted based on a theory alone!

Finally, yes, people do injure and kill children and they should be punished but let's make sure we are punishing people who are really hurting children versus being the last unfortunate person with the child.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. John F. Kennedy 35th president of US 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963)

almirati

Swiss family,

A teddy bear? You're kidding me. Please tell me you're kidding me.

I'm not talking "big" words to sound smart, although it seems there is some sort of educational requirement to type anything here judging by the comments made to a few posters. So, I guess you can't be sounding too smart or too not smart now?

What links do you want? What proof do YOU have that babies have been shaken? Fact is that babies are shaken daily, but not a single one of them has been shown to have had any injury sustained when there is a reliable witness to confirm the shaking as the initial event.

Fact is that we don't have any facts. Why? Because no one wants to do any testing to find out what was wrong with this child.

It's all too convenient to blame Resor in this case, or typically the nanny, babysitter, or father - whoever was last seen with the baby.

I use medical words because I can also give you the definition and the explanation of what they mean. Go back and read my posts and you'll see that I've done just that. I'm not talking over anyone's head here. Or...at least I thought I wasn't.

Fact is that studies and experiements have proven from 1987 and again in 2003 that a human being cannot generate enough force necessary - that's also been proven (the amount of force necessary) - to create these types of injuries. You haven't seen it, don't try to convince others you have because it's impossible. It is well documented and known throughout the medical community...or at least known to those who read the peer-reviewed journals they were written in.

Finally, the babies who have these triad of injuries have always seemed to end up with the same mysterious beginnings: vomiting, seizures, etc. And then a once-loving caregiver gets blamed for disgusting things such as you are accusing right now.

This is not a game. This is not a joke. Babies are dying and we don't know why. You want to blame Resor, fine. But then who is it the next time, and the next? When half the population is in prison because they all shook their babies, who do we blame then?

At that point will we finally be allowed to do differential diagnosis and find out what's really killing these babies?

Do the research. It's all out there publicly accessible. Unless of course you're all too content to stick your head back in that sand. My comment seemed to sting, didn't it? Hmm...

almirati

Judyjb,

Thanks for the links, but my research came from the military and medical journals. I will check out those links for accuracy.

Pages