Expert witnesses stand for defense team in murder of 5-year-old Lucas Dillion
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Lucas Dillion would have been 7-years-old this month, but back in 2015 he died from blunt force trauma to the head and today his step-mother at the time, Holly Rutledge is accused of being the cause of his death.
The Rutledge defense team called Dr. William E. Lee III, a tenured professor at the University of South Florida in biomedical engineering. Keith Davis, lead defense attorney, carried Dr. Lee through the science behind "fall impact speed." Parts of the testimony included the "g force" involved in falls. The g force calculated for a fall, according to Lee, can get to 200 "gs'" for an unobstructed fall to the ground.
Davis ushered Dr. Lee through the possibility of a fall from a height of three feet, as to represent a possible fall from a couch and what the damage that would be comparatively incurred from a tee ball bat. The bat has been noted as a possible weapon in the skull fracture suffered by the victim.
Dr. Ronald K. Wright, a forensic pathologist and expert witness for the defense in the Holly Rutledge trial contended that the straight line, narrow nature of the injuries sustained by Lucas Dillon were "most likely" explained by striking the edge of the coffee table in the room where the child was found unresponsive by first responders.
After several hours of deliberations over two days, the jury in the Holly Rutledge murder trial found her guilty, but of lessor charges than on the indictment.
Rutledge, who was charged with first degree murder was found guilty of reckless homicide and was found guilty of aggravated assault. The verdicts carry a 2-4 year sentence and a 3-6 year sentence, respectively.