The prosecution plans to call as many as 20 witnesses, including five expert witnesses, in the trial of the Hillsboro man whose infant daughter was hospitalized and placed into a medically-induced coma after she experienced seizures allegedly resulting from being shaken by her father.
A final pretrial hearing for Martin Proctor, 27, is set for May 17, with a jury trial scheduled June 12.
Discovery documents available during a pretrial hearing held Wednesday before judge Rocky Coss in Highland County Common Pleas Court show that prosecutor Anneka Collins plans to call witnesses including six Hillsboro police officers, along with medical personnel, children services officials and neighbors.
Collins also plans to call five expert witnesses, all of them medical professionals from Highland District Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Among the discovery items are “reports of suspected child abuse from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.” Previously, Collins told The Times-Gazette that hospital officials in Cincinnati found evidence of a “healing hairline fracture to the left tibia” of the baby. Collins said the finding “may indicate prior abuse.”
Discovery material shows that Proctor’s prior record includes an OVI in Highland County and driving without a license in Clinton County, both in 2016.
Collins filed a reciprocal request for discovery on Tuesday, requiring Proctor’s attorney, J.D. Wagoner, to provide any documents, tests or witnesses to the prosecution. Court records show that Proctor’s bond has been raised to $100,000.
In a hearing last week in juvenile court to determine temporary child custody, Proctor admitted to facts presented in court, including a series of events on March 12 during which “he could not get (the baby) to stop crying, he shook her and she went limp… then (she) began crying so hard she turned purpose and began to seize.”
Proctor is the father of both the baby and her 8-year-old brother. The baby’s mother is a Hillsboro resident, while the mother of the older child lives in Kentucky.
The baby was released from the hospital in late March. Proctor was indicted this month by the Highland County Grand Jury on charges of felonious assault and child endangerment The admissions made by Proctor last week in juvenile court cannot be used against him in the felony case, according to juvenile court judge Kevin Greer.
Proctor was arrested March 15 by the Hillsboro Police Department and charged with felonious assault in regard to the injuries to the baby, which occurred when she was just a month old. He is being held at the Highland County Justice Center.
The case first came to light that same date when the local Children Services agency filed a request with Greer for emergency protective custody of the baby and her brother after the infant was taken to Highland District Hospital on March 12, then transferred by life squad to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where she was sedated into a coma due to seizures.
Greer granted the custody order, calling the circumstances of the baby’s injuries “horrific” as Proctor and the baby’s mother sat in the courtroom during the hearing. Proctor was arrested and charged a few hours later by the Hillsboro Police Department.
According to court documents, approximately two weeks prior to the incident involving the baby, the older child was seen to have what appeared to be a black eye, and the father told people he had punched the child, according to the filing. Law enforcement “has an ongoing criminal investigation involving this family,” according to the document.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at [email protected].