Testimony in shaken-baby trial reveals previous death

Published: Apr. 26, 2014 at 1:32 PM CDT|Updated: May. 22, 2014 at 7:20 PM CDT
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Gary Wilbourn is accused of inflicting injuries that resulted in the death of his daughter Amy.
Gary Wilbourn is accused of inflicting injuries that resulted in the death of his daughter Amy.
Amy Jean Wilbourn (Source: Family)
Amy Jean Wilbourn (Source: Family)

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Day three of testimony in a Morgan County shaken-baby murder trial wrapped up Thursday afternoon.

Gary Wilbourn is charged with capital murder for allegedly shaking and hitting his four-month-old daughter in 2008. Thursday, the lead investigator and a doctor who cared for Amy Wilbourn while she was in a coma took the stand.

During that testimony, it was revealed that Gary Wilbourn had an infant son who died in 1989. Medical records show Gary Wilbourn Jr. died when he was 10 days old. Doctors determined he may have had a seizure disorder. Some of his symptoms were similar to Amy's.

Amy had a bulge in the soft spot on her head, as did the boy in 1989. Amy had no visible signs of trauma; nor did Gary Jr.

The defense asked a Morgan County investigator if they checked into the medical records concerning Gary Jr. Investigator Kyle Wilson said they asked about it, and were told there was nothing that could prove the death was suspicious. An autopsy was not performed in the 1989 case.

When asked if they had subpoenaed the medical records of the boy, Wilson said he did not. When asked if that could have been important for this case, the sergeant replied, "It could have been."

Wilson also testified that Gary told investigators he "shook the s---" out of Amy.

A doctor with Huntsville Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit who treated Amy testified, saying that in her opinion, the only way the child could have suffered her injuries is if someone inflicted them on her. She also testified that she looked over the records in the Gary Jr. case, and said she was surprised authorities did not look into it more.

The doctor who performed the autopsy on Amy, Dr. Emily Ward, first said it looked like a homicide, but in her final report, said the death was inconclusive.

That doctor is supposed to testify, but no one has been able to locate her and compel her to take the stand. A second opinion determined the girl's death was a homicide.

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