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Monday, August 25, 2014

New Evidence Could Cloud Shelburne Toddler Murder Case

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

The prosecution of a Shelburne man charged with murdering his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son could be undercut after experts recently discovered that skull fractures and other injuries suffered by the boy occurred as long as two weeks before he died, according to court documents.
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Prosecutors have charged Joshua M. Blow, 26, with second-degree murder. Blow was the only one home with Aiden in the hours before he was pronounced dead on July 21, and gave conflicting stories about what happened to the child in the moments before he ran next door and had neighbors call 911.

Aiden died a few hours later at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

"This was not an accident," Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan told reporters after Blow's arraignment in July. "This was intentional."

Now, a Chittenden Superior Court hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday to discuss revelations from Vermont Chief Medical Examiner Steven Shapiro that Aiden Haskins' skull was fractured at least five days and as many as 15 days before he died on July 22. Shapiro also found that Aiden suffered compression fractures to his vertebrae "days to weeks," before he was found dead.

Blow, who had been dating Aiden's mother, Ashley Stewart, has been held in jail without bail since his arraignment. His attorneys declined to comment.

Shapiro's office continued to review exams on Aiden in the weeks after Blow pleaded not guilty, and recently notified investigators of their findings that some injuries were older. The final autopsy report has not yet been released, according to court documents, though Shapiro has concluded Aiden died from "blunt impacts of the head."

Shapiro could not rule out that Aiden suffered another serious injury on the morning that he died, but found that the primary injuries Aiden suffered occurred "days to weeks," earlier that first believed, according to court documents. Shapiro reported he was unsure if the injuries were inflicted at the same time or during multiple incidents. 

Donovan said in an interview that he had no immediate plans to drop the charge against Blow, but was ethically required to notify the defense about the findings. During the hearing tomorrow, lawyers are expected to argue whether evidence still supports the second-degree murder charge, and whether Blow should be granted bail.

“We’re still fully confident in our case,” Donovan said.

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Mark Davis

Mark Davis

Mark Davis is a Seven Days staff writer.

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