MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man accused of beating a 5-month-old baby to death more than five years ago was acquitted Friday, according to CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald.
Watson Dorval, 29, of Liberty City was accused of felony murder and aggravated child abuse in the killing of Jazira Darien, the son of his girlfriend Sabrina Darien.
In October, 2008, police officers were called to the home in the 1300 block of Northwest 77th Terrace due to the baby having difficulty breathing.
Officials said an autopsy revealed that Jazira died of blunt force trauma. Furthermore,there were injuries to the ribs, skull fractures and brain hemorrhaging.
Jurors were told by prosecutors, Friday, that the baby’s liver was badly damaged.
Prosecutors built their circumstantial case on the belief that Dorval, who was not the boy’s father, was the only adult home alone at the time.
During several interviews, Dorval gave shifting versions of what happened: that the baby drowned, that hospital care killed him, that Sabrina Darien was to blame. Finally, he admitted to doing drugs and not remembering what happened, prosecutors said.
Dorval also hid from police and gave officers a fake name.
“It was the right verdict,” said Dorval’s lawyer, Herb Smith to the paper. “They’re two people who could have harmed this child, and the jury was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that it was this man and only this man. There was a window of opportunity for the mother to have beaten the child — plus the baby had pre-existing injuries.”