The second full day of testimony continued Thursday morning in the second-degree murder case against a Lakewood Ranch man accused of killing his former girlfriend’s 17-month-old son.
Richard Williams, 37, is on trial in the death of William “Quincey” Pollard in 2015. According to court documents, Williams was watching Quincey and his then 2-year-old daughter while former girlfriend Courtney Pollard was at work. As Pollard was returning home, Williams called Pollard to say that something was wrong with Quincey. He was pronounced dead at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center on July 11, a Saturday.
Throughout the morning testimony, Assistant State Attorney Julie Ann Binkley called medical examiner Dr. Suzanne Utley to give testimony on what she observed during Quincey’s autopsy. Since the 12th District only performs autopsies during the week, his autopsy was performed on July 13, a Monday.
Members of the jury were shown graphic images of the autopsy, in particular Quincey’s skull. Utley testified there was nothing abnormal about Quincey’s organs, but that the cause of his death was from trauma to the head.
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“Swelling of his brain ultimately killed him,” she said.
There are five different manners of death: homicide, suicide, accidental, natural and undetermined. By using the cause of death and circumstantial evidence in police reports and medical records, for example, the manner is codefied.
Utley ruled that the manner of death was homicide.
While the defense has yet to call its own witnesses to present its case in the slow-moving trial, during her cross examination of Utley defense attorney Jennifer Fury led her line of questioning to suggest Quincey’s manner of death could have been accidental, not necessarily a homicide.
Fury suggested that because the manner of death was based off of circumstantial evidence, Utley was not shown any evidence that could have shown the cause of death could have been accidental.
“They told us there was no traffic accident, no large fall,” Utley testified. No documents suggested there were any events that were accidental in nature, she said.
When Fury asked if the death could have been an accident, Utley said, “Yes.”
Dr. Melinda Hierholtzer also took the stand Thursday afternoon. She was the attending pediatric emergency room physician at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center the night Quincey came in.
She described the scene as “organized chaos,” as officials scrambled to breathe life back into the boy. They weren’t able to draw blood from his arm, so they took a sample from his shin.
For 45 minutes, they performed CPR.
“It’s a long code,” she said. “No one ever wants to give up on resuscitating a child.”
The trial continues Friday.