The trial of a Spokane County man accused of severely battering a 15-month-old ended Thursday with a hung jury.
Jurors indicated they were evenly split on whether to convict 22-year-old Eric T. Quesnell of attempted first-degree child assault and attempted second-degree child assault.
The jury deliberated about four hours before declaring itself hopelessly deadlocked. Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza declared a mistrial and scheduled a new trial for Quesnell on Dec. 5.
Quesnell was accused of causing a life-threatening head injury and other injuries to the infant son of his girlfriend, Amanda Slay. Sheriff’s deputies found the baby in critical condition when they responded to the room in the Red Top Motel, 7217 E. Trent, where Quesnell and Slay were staying on March 20.
Officers were summoned by Candace Ray, whose boyfriend, Jamison Campbell Sr., is the baby’s father. Ray told emergency dispatchers she found the infant “almost dead” when she and Campbell went to the motel room to return a car they had borrowed from Slay.
Court documents say doctors determined the baby had massive swelling from what one of them described as “one injury on top of the other,” caused by repeated blows to the head.
Witnesses described a number of incidents in which Quesnell allegedly abused Slay’s baby as well as his own 3-year-old son, according to court documents. Investigators said Slay told them she had trouble remembering exactly when things happened because she is a methamphetamine addict, according to a sheriff’s report. The child survived the incident.
Quesnell took the witness stand to deny any wrongdoing.
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