Monday, August 16th jury selection began. We were all relieved that a jury was selected that same day and there were no delays.
Tuesday, August 17th the day began at 9 am with opening statements and then went into Kelly's testimony. That woman amazes me. I could see her strength. I could see her pain. I could see her determination to speak for her son that was taken away from her. The state's attorney had this deep authoritative voice, that in a weird way comforted you. He asked some really tough questions of Kelly, asking her to replay those last days... or as he put it "Trevor's last good days of his life". And also to replay what had to have been the worst 2 days of Kelly's life.
The defence attorney for Gail Dobson did not have the same voice. And I admit that I have been on Kelly's side since the text message she sent me on September 2, 2009 that said "the ambulance on your street was for Trevor". But his voice was old and muffled and hard to understand. They didn't have much of a defence in my opinion and questions he asked Kelly was a precursor to blaming Trevor's death on being a preemie. As I listened to him interrogate Kelly about things he clearly didn't know about. I could go on and on, it was getting me so irritated I kept clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth that I ended up with a toothache and a headache. Later that night Kelly sent me a text thanking me for being there and said she was looking at me for strength about the preemie stuff. We joked about it being common sense, because really it was to us. The preemie and NICU life is incomprehensible to anyone that has not lived it. But really... "aren't all babies in the NICU on heart monitors?" (That bit is for Kelly, wink wink)
The day went on and there were many testimonies. Unfortunately I couldn't take the whole week off, but my mother-in-law came down and went to the trial every day so I could be filled in without bothering Kelly and her family.
Wednesday, August 18th the medical examiners and a child abuse specialist testified. We learned on Wednesday that Trevor's case was the worst case that Dr. Hinds of DC Children's Hospital had ever seen. It was a blessing in disguise that Kelly and her husband Dominic were sequestered and couldn't listen to the other testimonies and they did not have to hear these reports again or see the images that were submitted into evidence. My mother-in-law kept her head turned and Dominic's mom left the courtroom in tears. I too, am glad I decided to work. I know what happened to this child, I have heard the reports, but I want the boy smiling and happy in my memories. Not a child with bruising on the back of his head, a black eye, hemorrhaged eyes and a detached retina.
Thursday, August 19th Gail Dobson testified. I was not there. When I asked what she said people didn't tell me much. She really didn't say much, and her story was a little different even this time than all the other times she told it. Basically she was calm, a bit coy, and simply said she didn't do it.
Friday, August 20th, I worked in the morning and missed the closing statements. I got to the courthouse as the jury was being sent for deliberation. A bunch of us went to Kelly's parent's home where we waited for Kelly's cell phone to ring to go back. We knew it couldn't be too quick, there were 7 charges they were deliberating. But we were hoping it wouldn't bee too long. There we shared stories about Trevor, about the NICU, about random things, and we laughed. We knew in our hearts that Gail would be found guilty but yet we were SO nervous.
3 hours passed and Kelly's phone rang. The room went silent. Then she said "time to go". And we went. There was a trail of about 10 cars headed across town to the courthouse. We filled the chairs and squeezed in.
The jury came in and took there places. There were 4 charges based on what happened Monday, August 31, 2009 and 3 charges for what occurred on Wednesday, September 2, 2009. Those were the two days Trevor was in her care.
The first 4 charges were read, the charges from Monday... all were not guilty. Our stomachs were rising in our throats and we really didn't know what was going on. Then the next three charges from Wednesday were read: 2nd degree murder, 1st degree child abuse resulting in murder, and 2nd degree child abuse.
All three GUILTY.
The judge then said sentencing would be at a later date and Gail would be held in jail without bond because "she is a threat to society".
The judge asked us to remain calm and not have any emotional outbursts. I think we did pretty good. There were a few of Gail's supporters that burst out in gasps and sobbing, but we held it in. Gail's supporters were asked to leave the room, then us. There were cops and DOC employees standing guard and escorted us out of the building. We were lead to another building where we remained out of site as to not cause any conflict with the other people. We remained in a conference room and watched the corrections van take Gail from the courthouse to the jail. The room filled with applause.
And even though the trial is over and it's the verdict we were all hoping for and Gail CAN NOT hurt another child... it does not bring Trevor back. All I hope is that the healing can now start for Kelly, Dominic and their family. I hope they can keeps their heads high and continue to speak out for Trevor and be an advocate for him and Shaken Baby Syndrome. That they start to get some peace and that now that the trial is over, the jury has decided and the judge has ruled, that people will leave them alone and let them try to heal!!!
For those not in the immediate family, we were able to grieve and the trial brought back a lot of emotions and made me miss Trevor terribly. There is nothing that I could have done to change the situation, yet I carry some deep down guilt that I should have. I don't know what, and I know there isn't any way I would have known what was happening, but damn it, I was basically across the street. Like 100 feet from where she was hurting my friend's child. A football field's length from where she was killing my son's first friend. I think I have more healing to do myself. Blogging does help, that's the first time that's come out. That boy was just beautiful and it hurts to know he is gone. I said it last year, I said it after the trial and I will say it again, I am honestly glad that Aidan will not remember this. I hope that he never has to experience what we have in the past 356 days.
Trevor, your smile, love of life and your willfulness will live on in all of your family, friends and supporters FOREVER. Your beautiful, too short, life has touched many many people, and we will never be the same. Miss you little guy!