Molly Midyette Found Guilty In Child Abuse Case

Prosecutors: Infant Suffered Brain Injury, 37 Broken Bones

A Boulder County jury returned a guilty verdict late Friday in the case of a woman charged with the death of her 10-week old son.

Molly Midyette, 29, was found guilty of child abuse resulting in death by knowingly or recklessly permitting her son, Jason, to be placed in a dangerous situation.

Midyette turned to look at her family and broke into tears as the verdict was read.

Her husband, Alex Midyette, shouted in anger, "This is bull****. She didn't do anything."

Doctors said Jason suffered a brain injury and 37 broken bones.

Prosecutors believe Alex is the one who inflicted those injuries.

So does Molly's attorney.

During closing arguments, Craig Truman told jurors, "I believe the child was abused. Why Molly stays with him is a mystery to me."

Prosecutors said there was a disconnect between Molly and her baby. They said that after giving birth, her biggest concern was about stretch marks on her "bikini body." They said she even sent an e-mail about those concerns to an ex-boyfriend.

They said Molly never prepared her baby's room, never told doctors about Jason's bruises and never rode in the back seat with Jason during the emergency trip to the hospital.

"Those are all signs of a disconnect," said Boulder County Assistant Deputy District Attorney Colette Cribari.

Cribari added that another sign of disconnect was a personal phone call Molly made to her attorney. "She grabs a phone and talks to her lawyer," Cribari said, "and asks, 'What defense do I use, broken baby or eggshell baby?'"

Cribari said that conversation happened in front of social service workers before the baby died.

"That's a lawyer talking, not a mom," Cribari added.

Truman argued that the infant was taken to a family physician six times in two months. "Dr. Siegfried saw him without his diapers, without his clothes and not once did she see any bruises. If the doctor couldn't see them, how could Molly?"

Cribari countered that both of the infants grandmothers saw bruises and so did two other people.

Molly and Alex Midyette hug during an earlier court hearing.

Prosecutors said that a grand jury was critical to this case, and that jurors were able to better judge the credibility of certain witnesses during the trial, because their testimony differed from what they gave to the grand jury.

"It's awful that it had to come to this," said Manige Blackburn, an alternate who was released from jury duty after closing arguments.

When asked if she thought it was possible for Molly to not know about such serious injuries, Blackburn, who has an infant child herself, replied, "Maybe she didn't want to know. I don't know."

Midyette now faces the possibility of 16 to 48 years in prison.

"She's been convicted of a Class 2 felony which means she'll have mandatory prison time," Cribari said.

Prosectors explained Midyette was charged with three counts but can only be convicted of one death. Jurors also supported additional prosecution theories.

The theories stated Midyette "permitted a child to be placed in a situation that posed an unreasonable threat to either the health or life of the child," and "engaged in a continued pattern of conduct that led to lack of medical care, mistreatment and cruel punishment," according to prosecutors.

Sentencing has been set for 10 a.m. Feb. 29.

Alex Midyette also faces charges of child abuse resulting in death.

His trial date has not yet been set.

Read the ongoing courtroom blog of the trial from the Boulder Daily Camera by clicking here.

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