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October 2011
Tim Bilecki

Over 1,000 Pages of Evidence Cleared Marine Charged with Killing His Baby

Aggravated Assault on Infant, Escape from Prison
Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Marine Corporal - E-4
Full Acquittal – Not Guilty of All Charges and Specifications.

In one of our more complex cases, a Marine Corps Corporal was initially suspected of attempted murder of his 12-month-old baby and charged with multiple charges and specifications of assault on his child, inflicting serious bodily harm, child abuse, and child neglect. Based on the original charges, if convicted, the Marine Corporal would have likely spent most of his life in prison. In addition to those charges, and before we were retained on the case, the Marine escaped from pre-trial confinement.

The victim in this case suffered what our experts stated was the most severe non-accidental head trauma they had seen in their careers. The child’s skull was severally fractured, and one of the skull fractures had caused a tear into the brain as well as a subdural hematoma. Had the baby not been presented to the ER when she was, she would likely have died.

The government alleged that the night before the baby was taken to the hospital, while the Marine’s wife and mother of the child was out of the house, the Marine took the baby and slammed her head into a hard surface with extreme force, putting the baby into a coma. The next morning, when the mother woke up, she claimed she noticed the baby’s head was completely swollen and then took her to the ER, where she was intubated and placed in intensive care.

CPS and the Honolulu Police Department were immediately called out, and both parents were investigated. Our client made admissions to law enforcement that he had dropped the baby on numerous occasions, including the time of the alleged non-accidental skull fractures—this, in part, got him charged and placed in pre-trial confinement.

Upon being retained, we began assembling our team to take these charges head-on and get our client acquitted. This team was led by Mr. Tim Bilecki as civilian defense counsel.  We immediately conducted our own investigation of the case and targeted the mother of the child as the individual who actually harmed the baby. Based on our theory, we dug into her life and learned that the baby had had numerous other “accidents” while in her care, that the baby took another serious “fall” with head trauma after our client was in pre-trial confinement, that the mother often had more liquor and cigarettes in the house than baby food, and that she had conducted numerous incriminating searches on her computer.

Mr. Bilecki then worked extensively with a pediatric radiologist to gain a full understanding of the complex and numerous CT scans, MRI images, and over 1000 pages of medical evidence in this case. Based on an intensive review of the medical records and the expert testimony of our radiologist, we were able to prove that the injuries must have occurred when the mother was with the baby and our client was on duty. We also showed that our client’s explanation in his purported “confession,” which we believed he made to take the blame off his wife, was medically impossible. Armed with this information, we took this case head-on at trial and went after the mother, who we believed caused the injuries.

In a week-long trial that took almost a year to get to court, Mr. Bilecki conducted a scathing cross-examination of our client’s wife, exposing her as a liar, a bad mother, and the likely perpetrator of the crime. We also called our computer forensic expert as a witness to show the inculpatory searches and Internet history of the mother, which validated our case theory.

The icing was put on the cake when our pediatric radiologist testified and placed the timeframe of the injuries when only the mother was with the child. After nearly a year of waiting and thousands of pages of discovery, our client was found not guilty of all of the assault charges in less than an hour. He was, however, convicted of the escape from prison, a charge we essentially conceded.

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