Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Murder trial may hinge on intent

September 27, 2005


It won't be disputed in an upcoming trial that a Lawrence man killed his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter while baby-sitting her, the man's attorney said Monday.

"I haven't seen any evidence that would point to somebody else causing those injuries," said Mark Manna, a court-appointed public defender for defendant Jason W. Dillon, 22.

Instead, jurors likely will be asked to consider Dillon's state of mind during the June 18 incident and to decide whether he had the criminal intent required under law to kill Sydni C. Perkins, Manna said.

With Dillon's trial set to begin Nov. 14, Manna has filed a series of pretrial motions, including one asking that all cameras be banned from the courtroom and another asking a judge to suppress one of Dillon's statements to police.

Dillon, a former foster child and Lawrence High School track and field athlete, is charged with first-degree murder during the commission of a dangerous felony - in this case, child abuse. Police testified he admitted he was hung over from drinking alcohol the previous night and had struck Sydni 13 or 14 times in the back of her head while her mother was at work.

The charge carries a penalty of 20 years to life in prison. If jurors can't convict on that charge, prosecutors are asking them to consider the lesser charge of intentional second-degree murder, which carries at least 13 years in prison.

Jason W. Dillon

Jason W. Dillon

"I think the question is going to be to the jury which of the alternative charges" applies, or whether there's a lesser crime such as reckless second-degree murder that fits Dillon's actions, Manna said.

Ironically, the charge that carries the more severe penalty will be the easier one for prosecutors to prove. To prove first-degree murder in this case, prosecutors must show that Dillon intended to abuse Perkins and that it led to her death, not that he intended to kill her.

But to prove the lesser-charge of second-degree murder, they must show he intended to kill her.

"It's kind of a quandary that we're in," Manna said.

In a series of pretrial motions scheduled for hearing Oct. 7, Manna is asking Judge Michael Malone to bar all cameras from the courtroom, saying it could interfere with Dillon's right to a fair trial.

Manna also alleges that Dillon's interview with Lawrence Police on June 21 before his arrest involved "numerous instances of loud, profane, verbal coercion and duress." He's asking Judge Malone to not allow the contents of the statement to be used at trial.

Other pretrial motions filed by Manna include a request to limit the number of gruesome photographs shown to jurors and to order people in the courtroom to refrain from emotional outbursts.

"While Mr. Dillon understands that this tragic situation is emotionally volatile, this court must ensure that the jury decides the case solely on the basis of the facts presented," a motion states.


christie 12 years, 9 months ago

Yes let's all make sure Mr. Dillon has a fair trial. Just like the fair trial the 3 year old got from him.

Amandak 12 years, 9 months ago

Let's not entertain the issue of whether this young man intended to kill the child, he deliberately abused the little girl and, as a direct result of that heinous abuse, she died. He deserves the maximum sentence under the law, which, in this case, is not harsh enough. As far as cameras in the court room, definitely. This young man brought shame upon himself when he laid his hands on that poor child. His face, standing there in court, should serve as a reminder, etched in the minds of our community, that conduct like Mr. Dillon's will never be tolerated and shall always be punished to the fullest degree.

redmorgan 12 years, 9 months ago

I have a three year old son, and I cannot imagine ANYTHING a child could do to make an adult so angry as to strike them "13 or 14 times in the back of the head". This story breaks my heart so badly... I can't even express it. I hope that Mr. Dillon gets the maximum sentence and thinks everyday about the abuse he inflicted on an innocent, vulnerable baby who he was intrusted to care for and the joy he robbed from her mother's heart. Just disgusting. I'm sorry there is such ugliness in the world as this.

kansaskev61 12 years, 9 months ago

Let's not forget the mother. She has some blame too. Granted she had to work. It's tough to raise a baby as a single mother these days, but she should have arranged for more suitable childcare rather than a 22 year old drunk boyfriend. He should be hit with the harshest punishment but the mother should also be slapped with a Child endangerment charge.

Carmenilla 12 years, 9 months ago

If kansaskev61 could blame the child's death on the corrupt liberals, he would!

raven 12 years, 9 months ago

Everyone should not be so quick to jump all over KK61. He has a very good point. Since, the abuse went so far as to kill the child Mr. Dillon was probably abusive before it just never killed her before. The victim is the baby, not the Mother and not Mr. Dillon. I pray for her soul. However, you need to be careful who is watching your children.

Celeste Plitz 12 years, 8 months ago

I consider myself a liberal person-but not when it comes to baby-killers. This guy should get the full punishment he deserves. Nothing, but nothing, excuses a man who strikes a child enough to kill her. I am not as quick to blame the mother as some here would-hindsight is 50/50 after all, and we don't know what the circumstances were. It seems to me that she was unfortunate enough to trust the wrong person in the care of her daughter. I pity her and her poor little girl.

I don't, however, have any pity for the one responsible for all of this pain and suffering. I say let the inmates have him, and then maybe he'll feel what he put that poor child through himself.

kansaskev61 12 years, 9 months ago

No Carmenilla.....the corrupt liberals didn't kill the baby but the corrupt liberals in the justice system will probably either let him walk or just slap him on the wrists. "Let's not be too hard on him...he comes from abuse or he just couldn't take the crying...or his economic blah blah drove him too it". Hug him Carmenilla..that's really all he needs!

Carmenilla 12 years, 9 months ago

Wow, is that REALLY how simplistic your thought process is, kansaskev61?

I find the man to be a sad sad case indeed. But he doesn't need a hug. That would be about 20 years too late.

Maybe you need a hug though....You sound like a bitter guy who's only enjoyment in life is to bash liberals on the internet. You continue to prove that some people can only see the world as "us vs. them".....

kansaskev61 12 years, 9 months ago

No I'm just taking a break from work and bashing liberals on the internet gives me a late afternoon lift. it's not really an us versus them. It's just us versus Lawrence. I'm not bitter at all. I have a great life. I'm doing what I want to do, I make a nice living. I just like to be one of the few lone conservative voices in an otherwise sea of liberal rhetoric. It's all in fun Carmenilla! Nothing to take too seriously!

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 12 years, 9 months ago

I join you kev61, as another conservative voice in a sea of liberals. I think the alleged criminal should be put to death, as he did to that poor child. I volunteer to inject the drugs to do that into his body. Thank you, Lynn

kermit 12 years, 8 months ago

larryville_79: you cant just go on ASSUMING things that are most definitely not true. I'm so sick and tired of seeing all of this b.s. on here about mr. dillon. i've known dillon all of my life, and i also know that he had some anger issues that rachel knew about. if she trusted him enough to let her three-year-old be with him, then that is her fault and jasons. i feel for her... how do you think it is to lose poor sydni? i was in her life since she was born... think about the family of dillon. i'm sure they are going through some hard-ships, but as all of you are saying... "jason penned this on himself." do you think its easy for his mom to get married not even a week after all of this mayhem has happened? but people! you have to move on with your lives! you cannot sit back and judge people, because that's all you are doing. you're blaming EVERYTHING on society, and it's not society's fault. if you don't know the details, then don't bother to say anything about it. jason made a mistake, and now he is paying for it, but did you hear the rest of the story? when syd was pronounced braindead, all of her organs except her heart and brain were given to a young child her age that didn't have much longer to live. coincidence? i think not!

you're all just a bunch of sorry losers that have nothing better to do with your time than to judge people... and for that, you are ignorant. may god have mercy on YOUR soul!


kermit 12 years, 8 months ago

and i am also sorry that getting on here and talking down on and about people helps you vent off some steam. why not say it to someone's face? its a lot more cleansing...

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