GILLETTE, Wyo.— Prosecutors maintained Tuesday morning that a child who suffered 31 broken bones last year was a victim of child abuse while the defense revealed their argument that places the blame on a rare bone condition.
The second day in what is shaping up to be a lengthy trial for Tyler Bryan Martinson, 29, who is charged with 10 counts of felony aggravated child abuse, is underway with both the defense and the prosecution laying out their opening arguments to 12 jurors at the Campbell County Courthouse.
Prosecutors believe Martinson, through rough handling and what has been classified as non-accidental trauma, broke multiple bones belonging to his then 3-month-old son who was ultimately transported for out-of-state medical care in 2021, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
Deputy County and Prosecuting Attorney Greg Steward maintained the state’s position, pointing out to the jury that Martinson is recorded multiple times admitting the baby’s injuries were his fault and also told investigators that he had gotten too rough on several occasions.
When the child got to the emergency room, Steward told the jury, the baby let out a grizzly scream while being removed from his car seat for examination.
A skeletal survey, he continued, identified a multitude of fractures on the baby’s ribs and legs; one of the child’s femurs was reportedly broken in half.
Steward told the jury that the state’s evidence in the coming days will clearly show that Martinson is guilty of all 10 counts of felony aggravated child abuse.
On the other side of the aisle, Defense Attorney Cassandra Craven, representing Martinson, asked the jury to consider multiple unanswered questions that will become apparent as the trial moves forward.
Craven asked the jury how it could be that the baby suffered so many broken bones, how could it be that no one found out about the injuries for months, and how could it be that no one knew the baby’s leg had been broken in half?
“If you don’t ask the right questions, you’ll never get the right answers,” Craven said. “And in this high-profile case, not a single person asked the right question.”
In her opening argument, Craven alluded that the baby’s injuries were the result of a rare bone condition, and while preparing Martinson’s defense had medical experts examine the baby and other family members for the condition, which were reportedly found in the mother.
Craven did not specify in her argument what bone condition she spoke of, but told the jury that they will hear testimony from the baby’s mother during the trial that will reveal her expressing frustration over the condition.
This will be a long trial and it will be a hard trial, Craven told the jury, whom she said will hear even more testimony from medical professionals who were asked the right questions to identify a rare metabolic bone condition.
“Don’t follow the breadcrumbs; where’s the truth?” Craven said to the jury. “That is your job. You will be the first people to hear the whole story.”