The murder trial of Brandon Hayes, accused of torturing and killing his live-in-girlfriend's four year old son Dominick Calhoun in April of 2010, continued Monday in Genesee County in Judge Richard B. Yuille's courtroom.
The trial was moved to Genesee County after jury selection and day one in St. Clair county last week for convenience of the witnesses. It was originally moved to Port Huron for the purpose of finding more impartial jurors.
The main witness today was 4 year old Dominic Calhoun's grandfather, Rick Calhoun testified that he rushed to the Argentine Township apartment in April of 2010 after a frantic call from Dominick's aunt. He says when he arrived Hayes answered the door and said his grandson was "sleeping". But when he entered he found Dominick "laying on the floor in the bedroom". He described Dominick as "in trouble", noticing bruises on his neck and basic unresponsiveness other than "moaning a little bit". At one point Calhoun visibly broke down when asked to identify a photo of his grandson in the condition he found him in. Also present in the apartment was a visibly injured Corrine Baker, Dominick's mother. He says at that point he called 911 and raced to the police station to get officers there as quickly as possible. He also testified that Baker's other son, Tyler, was riding his bike outside when he arrived and he "put him in his truck".
Also testifying, a first responder and two Hurley surgeons who worked on Dominic. Neurosurgeon, Dr. Jawed Shah got emotional when he recounted how he had to share with family members that Dominick was essentially brain dead, and that there was "no hope". Dr. Gregory Dale who was there when Dominick arrived at Hurley described Dominick as having "hundreds of bruises over at least several weeks". Other medical professionals who testified also described "old and new bruises" on the little boy. Dr. Dale compared his condition to "being in a car accident where the car flips 15 or 20 times, every day for several weeks", and said he "can't imagine how much pain..." Dominick was in.
The jury winced at graphic photos of Dominick's badly bruised body as Dr. Dale described not only bruises but severe burns on the little boy's left hand, back and genital area. Dale said all of his injuries were severe on their own but took a back seat to the head injuries, which eventually killed Dominick. Dale testified CATSCAN indicated brain bleeding (subdureal hemotoma) and "midline shift" of the brain, an ominous sign to physicians that the patient will not recover.
Defense arguments focused on Calhoun's testimony that Hayes remained in the apartment when responders arrived and did not flee, and according to the testimony pleaded with Baker to "tell them I didn't do it".
The trial continues in Genesee County tomorrow.