Jason Jay Midyette
December 17, 2005 - March 3, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial
Molly Midyette wiped away tears in court as she heard testimony on the autopsy of her son and saw pictures showing x-rays of the bones that had been broken in his body. Jason was ten weeks old when, on February 24, 2006, he would be taken to the emergency room and he would never go home again.

On December 17, 2005, Jason Midyette was born to Alex and Molly Midyette. Weighing four pounds 14 ounces at birth, Jason had to be given oxygen at birth to bring him up to the normal newborn test score from a two out of ten. The oxygen was to help his breathing and after about eight minutes, everything was fine. According to the 
neonatal nurse, Gail Loker, Jason appeared healthy and normal during an examination just after his birth.

Dr. Karin Susskind, of the Boulder Medical Center said that Jason had been delivered at 36 weeks, only a week away from what doctors say is full term. Jason was Jaundice and not eating well at first. After about a week, with the problems solved, Jason was ready to go home with his parents, it was Christmas Eve:

"They were excited to go home,"
Karin Susskind

In February of 2006, Jane Bowers had planned on baby sitting for her daughter while she went to a postpartum checkup. Due to a mix up in the date, the baby was left with his father instead. Jane would regret that mix up for the rest of her life.

On February 24, 2006, Jason Midyette was rushed to the hospital with seizure symptoms and he was also vomiting. These symptoms had been apparently going on since the day of the appointment. A week later, on March 3, 2006, Jason would die from a head injury and his parents would stand accused of killing him.

Boulder County Prosecutor Collette Cribari said that Jason died a broken baby:

"He lived for 76 days filled with pain and misery. He lived through 76 days of repeated 
broken bones and head injuries." 

Dr. Thomas Hay, a Pediatric Radiologist, took care of Jason after he was admitted to the hospital. X-rays and CT scans showed that Jason was the victim of child abuse and suffered from a skull fracture on the top of his head as well as fractures in many of his other bones. In all, Jason was said to have 37 broken bones. The bones which had been broken were in various stages of healing.

Alex and Molly Midyette were booked and their bails were set at $750,000. and $500,000. and each of them bonded out within days of being arrested. Boulder County police said they would not talk about the case other than what the indictment said:

"We're not at this point going to be commenting on the specifics of the case . That's what 
the court process is for" 
District Attorney's spokeswoman Carolyn French

The lawyer for Alex could not be reached for any comments and the lawyer for Molly made one comment:

"I am sure when all the facts are known in this difficult and complex case that justice will be done." 
Craig Truman

A Grand Jury began their investigation in October of that year. The indictment doesn't indicate that Alex or Molly abused Jason physically, though it does mention that Alex had, at times, told family and friends that bruises on Jason's head were the result of him bumping Jason's head on something. The document does contain statements from doctors who say that the injuries Jason had were consistent with those seen in child abuse.

Also in the document were several instances where Alex and Molly had expressed concern with family and friends saying that Jason cried loudly, vomited and tensed up as if having a seizure, quite often. The family doctor says these concerns were never mention to her.

A family friend said that the couple had said they HAD told their doctor about the concerns of Jason's health who they said was born prematurely after a difficult pregnancy. The doctor said that during the routine exam after his birth, nothing was found to be wrong with Jason other than he was a little underweight and that the issue had
been taken care of. A family friend said:

"What they wanted for him was a wonderful life," 
Anonymous friend

"He had nothing but misery and pain. Every day of his life was a misery. The love of a mother 
for a child is a different kind of love. She didn't have that. There was a disconnect there. 
Why didn't she know? A mother can read the different cries of their babies. Not for one 
second did she show any responsibility for what she did and did not do,"
Collette Cribari

During testimony, Collette would say that Molly demonstrated just how disconnected she was from her son when she called her lawyer in front of social workers before her son died:

"She grabs a phone and talks to her lawyer and asks, What defense do I use, 
broken baby or eggshell baby?'"
Cribari said.

Molly's  mother would testify that Jason had been sick since his birth, claiming that he had been born premature and that Molly had a bad pregnancy in the last months. I guess that she wasn't aware that the doctors had already said that Jason was born only one week before what is considered full term. 

Jane Bowers also told the jury that Jason had not been able to suck properly and that she was concerned with if he would be able to reach developmental milestones or hold a proper weight, again she said her concerns were due to Jason being born premature.

“He definitely didn’t act the way my babies had or the way my granddaughter had,”

.
With tears in their eyes, the jury listened to her testimony as she told them of the final week of Jason's life in which she talked about the prayer vigil and how Alex and Molly had to make the decision to take Jason off of life support. Jane talked about how Jason had died in the arms of his parents.

Molly Midyette was convicted of child abuse for her failure to get help for her son who prosecutors say she knew was being abused by her husband. Her sentence was 16 years in prison. At her sentencing, the judge said that he agreed that Molly was detached from her son. Molly was still claiming her innocence:

“I did not see my son being hurt. If I ever thought that he was, I would have done something. 
I’ve also suffered the worst pain ever when I lost Jason. I will continue to suffer for the rest 
of my life.” 
Molly Midyette

Molly asked for a new trial on the grounds that Alex and his family had bullied her and tried to get her not to testify against Alex:

"New facts will shed a more complete truth on this matter. Until then, we will keep a light shining 
until we are reunited with her" 
Jane Bowers.

"Recent information encourages me that Molly will be free" 
Dan Bowers.

The judge denied her request.

Surrounded by a cloud of suspicion as for why his trial would start after his wife's, Alex's trial was moved to Denver at the request of the defense stating that he would not receive a fair trial due to the jury being swayed by pretrial publicity about the case. Due to Alex's family being prominent in the community, some people felt he was being given preferential treatment.

Alex would say that his son was not abused, but, that he suffered from a disease called Metabolic Disease. Paul McCormick, Alex's lawyer would use that a defense:

"They say the worst thing in the world that can happen to you is to lose a child, but there is 
something worse, when you lose a child and somebody says you killed it. At the end of this 
case, we will come up here and say. Free this man. Even though he is walking around the 
streets, he is in bondage." 

Collette Cribari disagreed saying the death of Jason was not a medical mystery:

"Use your common sense. You are going to take the pictures of the puzzle, and you are going to
put them all together. Never forget the big picture, and you will find the defendant, in fact, inflicted
the injuries on this baby." 

Collette said that the ribs, clavicle and left arm had already been broken and were beginning to heal. She also stated that friends and family had seen bruises on Jason and Alex always explained them away by saying he bumped the baby on something. Collette also said that Alex's mother, Kay Midyette had taken pictures of Jason and it is believed that she altered them to remove the bruising. Also pointed out was the fact that Jason's frenulum, which is the membrane that attaches the gums to the lip, was torn. This is a definite sign of child abuse where someone has shoved a bottle or a pacifier into the mouth of a child.

Collette told the jury that Alex seemed indifferent to his son's suffering and while surfing the internet, he was asking his wife to get him some marijuana while his son lay dying. Friends would say that at times, Alex carried Jason around as though he were a trophy and at one time it was witnessed that Alex took Jason and dropped him into the lap of his mother and told her to "feed the baby" because had started to cry.

Prosecutors said that on at least one occasion before Alex was to watch Jason, he was partying with his friends, drinking and doing illegal drugs such as cocaine.

"Alex Midyette was not an absentee father. He was the kind of dad who was happy to do the poopy diapers. He was there all the time. You will hear that when Jason Jay was born, it was the 
happiest day of his life. He is not a person who would abuse this child." 
Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick also denied that Alex was indifferent to the suffering of his son and that Kay Midyette was trying to hide bruises on her grandsons face saying that she was an amateur photographer who had also practiced removing acne from the face of her daughter-in-law, in some pictures.

The prosecution stated that Alex and Molly had not visited Jason while he was in the hospital. They did not go to his room to comfort him, hold his hand or be with him and they kept changing their story every day while their son was dying.

The defense said that the family held a vigil for Jason for six days and that they prayed quite often. Paul McCormick said that Alex was criticized no matter what he did. Alex was accused of not showing enough emotion about what was happening to his son and then he was said to show too much emotion when he would become frustrated with the doctors taking care of Jason. 

The Defense was expected to call medical experts who would state that Jason's death was not a result of child abuse. Claiming there was no retinal hemorrhaging and no outward sign of trauma to Jason's body.

"For someone to break every bone and do it intentionally, you have to hit the child everywhere. 
There were no bruises, except for the two little ones they are talking about. There are no internal injuries. Someone would have to have pinpoint precision to break those ribs on the inside but 
show no injuries on the outside." 

The Boulder County Deputy Coroner testified that Jason's age was one the reason his death was ruled a homicide:

"Typically how they happen are, from two main mechanisms. One is a pulling-and-twisting 
injury of the limb; the other is the child is in a position of being shaken or moved in a very 
violent way. In the case of a  2-month-old, they're not really capable of getting themselves into
a position. The default positions  these injuries had to be inflicted in some way or form.”

A top Pathologist would testify that none of Jason's injuries were visible until they were shown on x-ray and during the autopsy exam. He said that there have been cases of Brittle Bone Disease which were discovered recently that were not diagnosed using the tests which experts usually use to find this diagnosis.

A Neuropathologist from New Mexico, Dr. Ross Reicherd, is an expert in brain injuries. After examining Jason's brain he found that Jason's brain had bruises that were weeks old and a large pool of blood had pooled as a result of the last, fatal injury. Dr. Reicherd explained that older bruises were identified since they would show up as yellowish spots on the outside of the brain and that he had found several spots of older, dead tissue in Jason's brain.

"When someone has a brain injury, the body's response typically creates more injuries, such as swelling, that cuts off oxygen to the tissue, causing it to die" 

Jurors were informed that the head of a baby is softer than an adults and that they are not able to absorb impacts as easily.

“A child can be backed over by a car. but you look at them from the outside  and they look 
rather normal.  It’s pretty dramatic.”

Dr Reicherd went on to say that as a result of his injuries, Jason would have suffered through seizures, vomiting and sleepiness. Craig Truman asked if a lay person would be able to tell the difference from when an infant was spitting up and sleeping due to that being what babies do or if it was because they were suffering from a head injury. Dr Reicherd said:

“As a single thing that would be difficult"

Stephanie Stronks-Knapp, the social worker who met with Alex and Molly the day after Jason was moved to the hospital in Denver said that Alex had an intense expression of pain on his face when doctors told him that Jason had suffered a devastating brain injury and was not expected to live.

“He grabbed a trash can because he looked like he was going to vomit,” 

The trial of Alex Midyette continues on, in February of 2009.

UPDATE:

On February 18, 2009, Alex Midyette was found guilty of criminally negligent child abuse, a lesser charge than his original. Alex was able to bond out within hours of the verdict even though the judge had doubled his bail to $1.5 million dollars. 

Alex is facing ONLY up to 16 years in prison for what was done to his son. For some reason, the date set for sentencing isn't until April of 2009. Alex walks the street a free man until that time.

UPDATE:

Alex Midyette was sentenced to ONLY 16 years for what he did to his son. In May of 2009, the Judge in his case,
Lael Montgomery sentenced him to the maximum amount of years that was allowable by law. What a disgusting
shame that people can kill their children and get away with it by serving so few years. The children will be dead
forever, the parents get out and their lives go on.

Death Occurred in the state of Colorado

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