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Doctor testifies in Roy trial that victim was 'near death'

Special to the Union Leader

January 29. 2013 10:47PM

OSSIPEE - Medical experts in pediatrics and child trauma testified on Tuesday that the most seriously injured young boy in the State v. Justin Roy case was near death the morning he was flown to Maine Medical Center from Memorial Hospital in North Conway.

"He was dying," testified Dr. Baird Mallory, the head of surgery of the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at the Maine Medical Center. He operated on Strider Downs-Skidgel, who was 2½ years old at the time. Dr. Mallory said the boy's temperature was only a degree higher than that required to sustain life, and the pH level in his blood was so low it was at a level that would "kill most adults."

Justin Roy, 34, of Albany, is charged with multiple felony counts that allege he caused first- and second-degree injuries to Strider, who lived with his mother, Heather Downs, and his two brothers, Zander, now 8, and Gallagher, now 2, with Roy in a mobile home at Golden Oaks park in Albany.

Roy also faces two counts of assault alleging he bruised Zander by sitting on his legs, one count of simple assault for allegedly pushing Heather Downs away from the shed where he held Strider, and one count of simple assault alleging that he squirted the contents of a baby bottle on 11-month-old Gallagher.

Mallory, the chief surgeon for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center, operated on Strider three times to repair life-threatening injures to his bowel. He said the injuries were the result of multiple trauma and could not have occurred accidentally or from a fall from a shed step or from being pulled from bed. He said this type of blunt abdominal trauma is seen in car accidents or a fall from a great height.

Defense attorneys, Deputy County Attorney Susan Boone and Judge Houran spent several sessions in bench conference and in open court without the jury present reviewing half a dozen close-up color photographs taking during those surgeries. The photographs showed Strider's internal organ and bowel area. Boone argued the photographs were key to the state's case, as the issue is that not only was there serious bodily injury to the boy, but that a "tremendous amount of force" was used. Counselors eventually agreed on using three photographs to illustrate Mallory's testimony.

Testimony continues Wednesday in Carroll County Superior Court.

Crime, law and justice Ossipee Albany

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