State v. Chambers

2011-Ohio-4352 (2011)

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State v. Chambers

Ohio Court of Appeals
2011-Ohio-4352 (2011)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

David Chambers (defendant) was alone with his 18-month-old daughter when the child fell down steps and became unresponsive. The child died. Chambers was indicted for felony murder as a result of felonious assault and child endangerment. Chambers was interviewed by law enforcement three times and ultimately admitted he became angry when the child fell down the stairs, he shook the child to revive her, he heard her head hit the tile floor three times, he shook the child’s head, and the child’s head struck the carpeted floor. The coroner testified that the injuries indicated significant head trauma from extreme shaking, the cause of death was traumatic brain injury due to blunt-force trauma, and the death was a homicide. The state (plaintiff) called an expert witness who testified that the child’s injuries indicated very significant trauma and were consistent not with a fall but with very violent hitting onto a tile or carpeted floor. Chambers’s expert opined that the injuries could have resulted from a fall. Chambers testified that he did not intend to hurt or kill the child and her injuries resulted from an accident. During deliberations, the jury was instructed that felony murder does not require proof of purposeful intent. Chambers was convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Abele, J.)

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