Appeals Court Orders New Trial For Sheldon Man

Date posted - November 12, 2015

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a Sheldon man who was convicted of injuring his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter.

According to court records, in December of 2012, the child had a seizure in the overnight hours while in 33-year-old Joseph Bailey’s care. They say she also complained of a sore arm three times during the night. When she was seen by medical personnel the next day, an x-ray showed both of the bones in the child’s forearm were broken. Court records indicate that due to the seizure, the girl also had CT scans, which showed she had a subdural hematoma. Dr. Suzanne Haney said that the seizure was the result of the hematoma, not the other way around. Court records say Dr. Haney stated that the likely cause of the subdural hematoma was “[s]omebody shaking her or throwing her down hard enough to cause that.” Based on the C.T. scans, Dr. Haney stated the girl had probably been injured up to three days—or at a maximum, one week earlier. The records say that in Dr. Haney’s opinion, the injuries were non-accidental.

The appeals court concluded a lower court judge erred by letting Bailey’s girlfriend testify that it was her opinion that Bailey “did it” and was guilty of child endangerment causing serious injury.

Bailey also contended that he was not allowed to present any evidence or statement that suggests that any other person, including the mother could have been responsible for the child’s injuries, and that there was a biased juror on the jury.

The appeals court said Bailey is to get a new trial on the same charges, which would include a new jury, so they didn’t need to address those claims.

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