Unknowingly inheriting and then passing on genetic defects to an offspring are not criminal acts.
Pardon the appearance of this blog. I’m tied up with other things, but will clean up this blog later.
Neuropathologist Dr. Waney Squier was once a big believer in SBS, but she discovered that at least half of all parents tried over Shaken Baby Syndrome have been wrongfully convicted. She has made a big U-turn in her career to testify for the Defense (aka: the wrongfully accused/convicted parents).
Read about the horrible Shaken Baby Syndrome Myth in this very comprehensive website.
Read law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer’s article “The Next Innocence Project: Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Criminal Courts.”
To all the prosecutors and doctors who wrongfully accuse parents and caretakers for Shaken Baby Syndrome, bad karma will catch up with you one day. See my prior analysis on famous people who go through 10-year karma cycle. Don’t ever think the sh*t you do are not being noted and recorded by the Higher Authority in the Sky who will exact punishment on you when it’s your time. Read about the 10-year Karma cycle on Lance Armstrong, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi, Donald Manes and John Gotti in particular.
Jury verdict reached after only about 6 or 7 hours, despite lots of medical evidence – two thick binders at least 800 pages of medical records. Why did the defense attorney NOT present the weird family medical history on Ying Li’s side. Annie also inherited genes from her mother Ying Li. There is a pattern of Sudden Infant Deaths on Ying Li’s family side specifically tied to the FIRST-BORN child whether they were boys or girls after the FIRST-BORN had a fever (see more details below, somebody has 2 links to the Qiao Bao Daily 1, Qiao Bao Daily 2 in Chinese but cannot see the photos, the reporter visited Ying Li’s parents and older sister in China). Also, one unidentified juror gave feedback to Chinese media on what Defense attorney failed to convince them about certain things (see news as of Feb 1, 2013).
1) Murder in the 2nd degree – NOT Guilty (NY Penal Law 125.25 Subsection 04)
2) Manslaughter in the 2nd degree – Guilty (NY Penal Law 125.15 Subsection 01)
3) Endangering the Welfare of a Child – Guilty (NY Penal Law 260.10 Subsection 02)
I hope the Li family will appeal the conviction. Please contact Michael Chu if you want to suggest something and/or offer help in anyway. Michael Chu (917) 767-0631， E-mail: email@example.com
Based on definition on the last 2 counts, I don’t understand how the Jury fit the definition of the charges into the Hang Bin Li case.
1) How did Hang Bin Li recklessly caused Annie’s death when Annie had a heart attack on that night (the heart attack was documented by Dr. Patel the ER doctor at Flushing Hospital), combined with accidental bump in her head while trying to give her CPR? Annie had genetic defects OI (and her eyeballs truly had blue sclera and documented bone abnormality – Flaring in the Anterior Ribs), but these jury think the father recklessly caused her death? He was a NEW parent with no prior experience with newborn, trying frantically to give her CPR, but accidentally bumping the baby’s head (her skull was more fragile than normal people, she had bone abnormality due to OI condition).
My CF is very upset, recalling a news from last summer 2012. Wondering why the defense attorney did NOT introduce a very weird Family Medical History from Ying Li’s side – there seems to be a pattern of Sudden Infant Deaths associated with First-Born Child in Ying Li’s family side after the first-born child had a fever. After all, Annie inherited genes from both her father and her mother (Ying Li), and Annie being the first-born child followed the weird family history pattern from her mother’s side - Annie had a fever on Oct 22, 2007 and everything spiraled downward after the fever, leading to heart attack, then the unfortunate bumping in the head). The Qiao Bao Daily sent a news reporter to visit Ying Li’s family in China in Summer 2012 (but they don’t have internet links to archive news, it was hardcopy version, I think Michael Chu must have saved the hardcopy on any news about the Li family). Qiao Bao Daily interviewed Ying Li’s parents and older sister. Ying Li’s oldest brother (FIRST-BORN child) had a fever when he was a few months old, then he suddenly died after having a fever. Several uncles, aunts and cousins of Ying Li (also the FIRST-BORN child) also died suddenly in infancy. Ying Li’s older sister Ha Li (the 2nd-born child) also had a fever at infancy, she didn’t die but she became permanently disabled from the neck down or waist down. Although some people told Ying Li’s parents to send the disabled daughter to orphanage, they did not want to abandon their daughter (debunking the myth that Chinese people favor boys over girls) despite financial hardship. Ying Li’s parents have been supporting and taking care of Ha Li (the disabled daughter) for 3 decades so far. Remember Ha Li is disabled from the neck down or waist down, she needs assistance around the clock.
2) How was Annie an abused child if she was well-fed, well-taken care of, and she was a big baby for infants her age? Annie was documented to be well-fed, well-taken care of by Dr. Landi in autopsy. Annie’s weight and height were in the 90th percentile compared to babies around same age as her. The landlord testifed that Annie was a good baby, she didn’t cry that much. There was no trigger event for the B.S. Shaken Baby Syndrome.
From hindsight, the prosecutor Leigh Bishop lost this case too. She was urging the jury to convict Hang Bin Li for depraved indifference to human life (the definition of Murder in 2nd degree charge). The jury didn’t buy the murder charge as advocated by Leigh Bishop about depraved indifference to human life. Somehow they believed in the last 2 counts about recklessly causing the death of another person and causing someone to be an abused child.
This blog page is created for all the SBS communities that are monitoring the ongoing Hang Bin Li trial. From hindsight, I thank Hollywood actress Katie Holmes for showing up briefly on Day 1 of the Trial and listening to the Opening Statements by the defense and prosecution.
For inquiries, donation to the Li family defense fund, car-pooling from Flushing, Queens to the court (Jury deliberation begins on Thurs, Jan 31) to support the Li family, please contact Michael Chu (917) 767-0631， E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Queens County Supreme Court (Criminal Term) address: 125-01 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY 11415. The Jury Deliberation begins Thurs, Jan 31 in Room 306. By Subway – The “E” and “F” trains stop at Union Turnpike station. The Courthouse is located 2 blocks East on Queens Boulevard. By Bus – The Q46 and Q60 bus lines stop near the Courthouse.
If you need more background information on this court case, please refer to my original blog page link: Please Help this Couple! Genetic Conditions “Osteogenesis Imperfecta” vs. Shaken Baby Syndrome
Photo courtesy of Chinese World Journal. From l to r: Hang Bin Li, his defense attorney Cedric Ashley, an unidentified court officer at Queens County Supreme Court (Criminal Term) in New York City on Day 1 of the trial.
Translations for DAY 7 and DAY 8 are now available below. Day 9 and Day 10 are listed in short summary below. All witness testimonies were done by Day 10. The Closing Arguments were held on Thurs, Jan 31, then the Jury Deliberation began after Closing Arguments.
Scroll down to see new comments from Melinda and Charlene.
: Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily, Chinese World Journal 1, Chinese World Journal 2. (NOTE: Mr. Chen Yue-Kwong from Sing Tao Daily was TOO damn lazy, he basically just regurgitated old information, throwing in some new information on the article. My CF wants to say Stella Chan at Sing Tao Daily does much more decent job than Mr. Chen Yue-Kwong. CF is betting Chen Yue-Kwong from Sing Tao Daily was sleeping while the verdict was read, his news article is obviously much more inferior than Ming Pao Daily and Chinese World Journal. Shame on you – Chen Yue-Kwong!).
The Chinese media interviewed one unidentified juror about how they reached the verdict. I think defense attorney should have hired more Medical experts to testify for the defense (See Item #3 below). Like Charlene wrote in the comment section of this blog, having one medical expert is not enough for the jury. You need more Medical experts speaking on your side, especially if you call this a Medical case, and you tell the Jury at the Closing Statements to take the “local train” to examine the mountain of evidence instead of the “express train”. But then you only called one Medical witness (aka: express train).
1) One unidentified juror gave feedback on why they came to the verdict of NOT guilty in Murder in 2nd degree (because they don’t believe Hang Bin Li is as bad as prosecutor described him to be, no depraved indifference to human life).
2) On guilty verdict for Manslaughter in 2nd degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, the juror looked at long distance phone records, they were incoming phone calls from China. This indicated that Hang Bin Li didn’t initiate the phone calls to his parents asking about Annie’s fever condition. They also looked at police statements, they saw inconsistencies. (MY TAKE: I wish Hang Bin Li would have testified himself (but Ashley denied his chance). I think it’s only human that you cannot piece together (not in the most perfect and consistent format) the last 17 hours of what you did on an hour-by-hour account leading up to your child not breathing and unconscious. Especially if the police asked you about it more than 24 hours later, unless you have photographic memory – super precise about the minute-by-minute and hour-by-hour happening. Hang Bin Li could have testified himself that Annie’s unconsciousness was a shocking and emotional event, that he was in a shocked and confused mental state. These kinds of things happened. I was in a car accident. For the longest time, I couldn’t recall all the details because I actually saw something frightening, my mind actively blocked the scary images and some part of the memory of the event. Then after a year or so, I drove back to the same route, re-enacting that day’s events. Then suddenly the details came back to my mind clearly. By that time, I overcame my initial shock and fear, so the memory was unblocked)
3) Jurors wanted to believe that Annie had OI and link the heart attack conditions. But I think after 9 medical doctor witnesses for the prosecution, the Jury was not sure. (Translation: the defense didn’t call enough Medical experts testifying on behalf for the defense to convince the Jurors. It’s not enough to have Dr. Hua (one expert) making those claims). (MY TAKE: My CF and I don’t understand why defense attorney did NOT present the weird family medical history of Ying Li. In Ying Li’s family tree, the FIRST-BORN uncles, aunts, and cousins (whether boy or girl) had fever at infancy and died suddenly. This may explain why Annie (FIRST-BORN child) had a fever and then everything spiraled downward, then she lost her breathing and became unconscious. This FIRST-BORN sudden infant death happened to Ying Li’s oldest brother (FIRST-BORN), to her other FIRST-BORN uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.
4) Jurors wondered why Ying Li didn’t testify. Normal jurors would expect to hear from the spouse or significant others of the defendant. If they don’t testify, the assumption is that they are not on good terms or something else. (MY TAKE: People don’t give enough credit to Ying Li as a strong woman. Ying Li was in Rikers Island for 4 years. Anybody who stayed that long at Rikers Island either developed coping strategies against great adversity or they get beaten up by fellow detainees and inmates). (Translation: it wasn’t wise for defense attorney to exclude Ying Li as a character witness for Hang Bin Li. People forget that Ying Li kept turning down all plea deals from Leigh Bishop. She refused to make incriminating statement against Hang Bin Li in exchange for dismissal of her charges. In the end, it was Leigh Bishop who had to yield, who had to dismiss all charges against Ying Li with NO strings attached).
: See NY Times coverage on the Closing Arguments, I assure you it’s written in English, no painstaking translation from Chinese. Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily 1, Sing Tao Daily 2, Chinese World Journal.
: News coverage from Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily, Chinese World Journal. See above, our people got the essential ”Regular folk observation” about Day 10 testimony. Detailed translations will be this weekend.
Dr. Zhongxue Hua is/was the Chief Medical Examiner (Big Boss) in New Jersey for Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Somerset Counties. Dr. Hua has 3 Board Certifications: Forensic Pathology, Neuro-Pathology, and Anatomic Pathology. Read a news profile about Dr. Hua who is considered a “Rock Star” in the forensics pathology world in New Jersey. If you watch Court TV, you might remember Dr. Hua testifying at the high-profile Melanie McGuire trial. Dr. Hua is supposed to be highly respected by the prosecutors in New Jersey.
Can you picture Dr. James Gill who is a high ranking autopsy doctor at the NYC ME Office, who sat through Dr. Hua’s entire testimony on Day 10, who could NOT find any medically-related stuff to rebut Dr. Hua’s expert opinion about Annie’s cause of death. Dr. Hua’s last word on the witness stand was, “Based on the information provided to me, I do NOT see signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abusive Head Trauma in Annie”.
Dr. Gill did NOT object to Dr. Hua’s sworn statements as listed above. Check the court transcript for full details.
Dr. Carole Jenny – See above. She looks like she is suffering from Shaken Walking Human Syndrome, ain’t kidding you.
[Regular Folk Observation on Day 9: Dr. Carole Jenny was asked about her mis-diagnosis in a 1996 Shaken Baby Syndrome case in Arizona. This case came back to haunt Dr. Carole Jenny in 2010. Regarding the 1996 SBS mis-diagnosis in Arizona, it was Dr. Carole Jenny's sworn statement on January 28, 2013 to blame everything on her boss (she's not human enough to assume responsibilities of her own). Dr. Carole Jenny wrote the Board Certification exam on Pediatrics Child Abuse or something like that. If she had a DIRECT boss in the Pediatrics Child Abuse area, why wouldn't it be her DIRECT boss to write the Board Certification on Pediatrics Child Abuse exam? After all, the mis-diagnosis only came back to haunt Dr. Carole Jenny in 2010, long after she wrote the Board Certification exam material.
Side note, Dr. Carole Jenny walked in and out of the courtroom on Day 9 of the trial like a penguin due to her overweight frame. She may be a so-called Shaken Baby Syndrome voodoo doctor. What she doesn't know is that she is definitely a Shaken Walking Human Syndrome patient, moving her body fat from left to right motion as though the Invisible Man is shaking her body fat from left to right. I bet you $10 that she has knees, joints, ankles or other leg problems. All the double-cheeseburger body fat in the middle (trunk) putting pressure on her legs. One would think a medical doctor such as Dr. Carole Jenny would not allow herself to look like a Shaken Walking Human Syndrome patient, obviously she thinks it's OK to look like a penguin wobbling on the street.
1) Morning & afternoon sessions of the trial, the 14th prosecution witness: Dr. Jay Shapiro - an OI expert at Johns Hopkins University's Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Shapiro is a PAID outside expert for the prosecution in this case, the outside paid expert usually receives a few thousand dollars fee from the State/DA Office (aka: our taxpayer money) to look at records and render expert opinion in his/her area of specialty. The prosecution also covers their hotel and airfare if the outside paid prosecution experts are coming in from out-of-town.
Dr. Jay Shapiro is the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Program Director at Johns Hopkins University. The prosecutor hired Dr. Shapiro in Oct 2012 to look at Annie’s records including birth records, records at Flushing Hospital, X-ray, CT scan, CAT scan, autopsy report, DNA/genetic testing report, the police report, etc. Based on these data, Dr. Shapiro does not think Annie had clinical signs of OI Type 1. He also said Annie’s injuries were not consistent with the clinical signs of OI Type 1.
NOTE: Despite Dr. Shapiro’s lofty claims that he examined Annie’s records carefully, Ming Pao Daily noted however that Dr. Jay Shapiro missed a finding on the autopsy report, that Annie’s heart was calcified. And Dr. Shapiro said at cross-examination that he does not have an explanation why a young infant like Annie could have calcified left ventricle in the heart at such a young and tender age.
2nd NOTE: When my CF kept re-reading all 3 Chinese newspapers, something kept sticking out. It is very likely that Dr. Shapiro also missed another point in Annie’s medical report besides what Ming Pao Daily noted above. Best to verify with the original court transcript. (Hey, your taxpayer dollars NOT getting your money’s worth, the State/DA offices are funding sloppy prosecution expert witnesses who do half-baked, sloppy work and earn at least a few thousand dollars just for showing up at court and spouting stuff (besides saliva) out of their mouths at the witness stand. As taxpayers, we should get our refund from these high-paying but lazy expert witnesses). If Dr. Shapiro claimed Annie was a healthy baby, even her bones looked normal, then he overlooked or never bother to look at the radiology report showing Annie had “Flaring in the Anterior Rib” = bone de-mineralization (loss of minerals in bones) . Annie also had Wormian bones, so Dr. Shapiro's claim that Annie was a healthy baby sounds very suspicious.
3rd NOTE: CF said there is some difficulty translating from Chinese newspapers about things said by Dr. Shapiro. It looks like Dr. Shapiro was using “lawyer speak” to protect himself when he was being cross-examined by the defense. What is “lawyer speak”? Example: former President Bill Clinton who is a lawyer by training famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”. Clinton was using “lawyer speak”. He made “qualifying” statement, narrowing his definition of sex to exclude certain types to protect himself. Another form of “lawyer speak” is to broaden the possibilities to cover all bases.
The prosecution OI expert witness Dr. Jay Shapiro basically made statements saying that OI is a complex and multifaceted disease. He claimed that just because Annie and her father both tested positive for gene mutation related to OI Type 1 and this same gene mutation is found in one other Chinese patient in China who is confirmed to have OI, it doesn't mean Annie and her father truly have OI. (NOTE: OI is a relatively rare genetic disease to begin with. The OI research on Chinese people is even rarer. So if you find OI research on Chinese patients, among one of the Chinese OI patient you found that he/she has the same type of gene mutation as you do, it's like you have won the Powerball lottery). He said Annie's gene mutation meant she had a chance of having OI, but not necessarily afflicted with OI. But he admitted that OI research on Chinese patients is very limited. In his 35 years of research experience in OI, he has only seen 3 or 4 Chinese patients with OI. (NOTE: Medical research heavily lean toward the Caucausian population, because medical research follow the money - they are mostly funded and sponsored by White people. It's very BOLD for Dr. Shapiro to say that a unique gene mutation in Chinese people does not necessarily cause OI. See my reasoning below. Despite China and India being the No. 1 and No. 2 most populated countries in the world, these Western-trained medical and genetic researchers may NOT know certain inherited gene mutations among the Indian population. There is an inherited pediatric cataract eye disease in young Indian babies (gene mutations) that is not commonly found in non-Indian population. Likewise, between 30% to 50% of East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) have inherited gene mutations that cause them to process alcohol differently (abnormally) than Caucausian and African. This gene mutation increases East Asian's chances of having esophageal cancer if they insist on drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Exactly how these non-White people's unique ethnic-based gene mutations interplay with genetic diseases such as OI are not yet known because medical research on ethnic patients (Chinese, Indian, etc) are very limited).
Dr. Shapiro explained that OI is gene mutation in the collagen protein, the cells are unable to manufacture and duplicate themselves properly. The collagen protein are building blocks in a person’s bones, organs, blood vessels, muscle, etc. Each person’s gene mutations differs, the symptoms could vary from person-to-person, but one common symptom in OI patients: high chance of bone fractures. Dr. S said among OI patients in America, about 70% of them are OI Type 1, the symptoms are milder. The Type 1 babies usually have blue sclera in the white part of the eyes, and their bones may APPEAR to be normal but prone to bone fractures. About 20% of OI patients in America have overlapping symptoms, so it is hard to determine if they fall into one type of OI or they fall into more than one type of OI.
Regarding the prosecution sending Annie’s remains 5 years after her death to an independent court-certified lab to test for genetic defect and gene mutations, Dr. S said the lab generally includes all possibilities in the report so they are not conclusive. The highly accurate collagen protein testing is not the only method to test for OI, it requires skin biopsy. There are only 3 laboratories in America that can do these types of genetic testing.
Regarding the medical examiner (Dr. Kristen Landi) saying that in the autopsy she cut and twisted Annie’s bones but found no fractures, so based on cutting and twisting, Dr. Landi concluded that Annie’s bones were normal. Dr. Shapiro said the medical examiner did not examine the bones methodically and seriously. Regarding whether any bone fractures in Annie’s body appeared abusive in nature, Dr. S said he needs more witness account and testimony before making conclusion.
Based on Annie’s serious head trauma, Dr. Shapiro said it is hard to directly link the head injuries to OI symptoms. Regarding Annie’s skull fracture, Dr. S said it is not a typical symptom of OI. He gave an example of a 5-year-old who fell out of a wheelchair, this 5-year-old could have skull fracture from the fall (accidental or intentional). But it doesn’t mean the 5-year-old had OI. Retinal hemorrhaging is also not a typical symptom of OI. He said even if Annie truly had OI, the accidental bumping in the head when the parents were trying to apply CPR on her would not have caused such serious head trauma.
Another symptom of OI is blue sclera in the white part of the eye. Dr. S looked at a few photos of Annie in court when she was still alive. He said it is hard to assess based on photos, they are dependent on lighting and photography skills (NOTE: Dr. Shapiro is 81 years old. I’m not sure how good his current eyesight is if he totally missed two major points in Annie’s medical report written in black and white English letters: Annie had calcified left ventricle in the heart and anterior rib flaring. So asking an 81-year-old doctor to examine Annie’s photos for blue sclera (discerning colors!!!!) is an even tougher task for an octogenarian. It's like asking the 81-year-old Dr. Shapiro to place a thread into the tiny hole in a needle). Dr. Shapiro said Annie’s photos did not show easily distinguishable blue sclera. The defense pressed on Dr. Shapiro’s point about blue sclera. Dr. S later had to admit that the OI Type I patients’ eyes could have blue sclera, gray sclera, or appear normal. But in general, they appear blue. Likewise, OI Type I patients could have Wormian bones, but also could have no Wormian bones (NOTE: Wormian bone is a marker for diseases. The presence of Wormian bone signals certain types of diseases, they are not optional bones doing nothing to the body). Dr. S admitted that the presence of Wormian bone in OI patient signifies more serious conditions. He said OI Type 1 is generally not fatal, babies with Type 1 could be normal. But minor injuries or a light touch can cause bone fractures in OI Type 1 patients. Dr. S said most OI Type 1 death cases were caused by serious trauma, including accidental trauma.
At cross-examination, Dr. S agreed that purely based on X-rays, it is impossible to determine if Annie’s bones were abused or if the bones were normal (NOTE: as stated by Dr. S before, OI Type 1 can have bones that LOOK normal but prone to fractures. Annie's bones may LOOK NORMAL despite her OI Type I status).
Dr. Shapiro looked at Annie’s X-Rays, he said OI Type 1 usually don’t have thinning skull. Annie’s skull fractures were not consistent with OI Type 1. Bone fractures on the limbs are not common. The bleeding in the brain and retinal hemorrhaging are not symptoms of OI Type 1. Regarding Annie’s heart lacking oxygen with calcifying left ventricle, Dr. Shapiro said collagen problems usually affect the heart and the arteries, which typically affect the right ventricle. Ming Pao Daily noted that Dr. Shapiro said he has seen OI patients with rib fractures, causing the lung function to decrease, the blood flow from the lungs to the right side of the heart, so the right side of the heart (right ventricle) is affected. Regarding why Annie’s left ventricle was calcified, Dr. Shapiro has no explanation for calcifying heart in a young infant. He said calcified heart is normally seen in older adults.
Photo courtesy of Chinese World Journal. From l to r: Dr. Jay Shapiro and defense attorney Cedric Ashley.
1) Morning session of the trial, the 12th prosecution witness: Dr. Steven Rubin - a pediatric ophthalmologist. Dr. Rubin is a paid outside expert for the prosecution in this case, the outside paid expert usually receives a few thousand dollars fee from the State/DA Office (aka: our taxpayer money) to look at records and render expert opinion on his/her area of specialty. (NOTE: Based on the names of the expert witnesses on Day 7, I found some interesting stuff below. Per NY State professional licensing board, Dr. Rubin’s LAST Board Certification in Ophthalmology was in Oct 1983 (nearly 30 years ago). Dr. Rubin has NOT renewed his Board Certification since then to prove to his patients that his medical knowledge in ophthalmology is not from 30+ year-old medical textbooks. Can we say certain eye doctor is too lazy? See Dr. Jack Levenbrown below. Although Dr. Levenbrown is much older than Dr. Rubin, Dr. Levenbrown is committed enough to continue to learn and receive updated Board Certification sub-specialty in Pediatrics Radiology (expiring on Dec 31, 2015). A simple check found Dr. Rubin (the eye doctor) receiving extremely low ratings among his patients between May 2009 to August 2011 on Vitals.com – 7 out of 10 patients were angry enough to leave bad comments about Dr. Rubin. All 10 patients gave between 1 to 2 stars (with 4 stars being the highest grade). Dr. Rubin sounds like the Jewish version of Dr. Rusly Harsono or the fictional character Dr. Cristina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy" TV show, or even Dr. Gregory House on "House, MD" TV show with no bedside manners. )
Day 7 - the prosecution called two PAID outside experts to testify.
Per Ming Pao Daily, Dr. Rubin has been in medical practice for nearly 30 years. He has seen about 30,000 pediatric patients, treated about 2,000 cases of child abuse, but he only saw 6 cases of pediatric OI patients in his fairly long medical career. The prosecution found Dr. Rubin last year (2012), requesting him to examine medical records of Annie from Flushing Hospital, New York Hospital Queens Medical Center (NYHQ), and the autopsy report to render his
professional opinion with respect to ophthalmology. Based on the retinal images, he said Annie’s retina suffered from widespread bleeding at different gradation level of bleeding. He thinks the bleeding was due to the baby being violently shaken. Dr. Rubin showed pictures depicting retinal hemorrhaging in different situations in court: (1) normal retina (2) baby with abusive head trauma (3) baby with OI having minor injuries (4) Annie’s retina.
Photo courtsey of Chinese World Journal. Image of a normal retina.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. Image of a retina under abusive head trauma condition. Notice the retina in Abusive Head Trauma looked visibly red in color. But the 18-MONTH-old toddler with OI and 2-MONTH-old Annie's retina both looked orange in color.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. Image of a retina with OI Type 1 condition. It was discovered upon cross-examination that this retina belonged to a then 18-MONTH-old toddler. But Annie was only 2-MONTH-old infant. Comparing apples vs. oranges.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. Image of Annie's retina. Color-wise, Annie's retina looked more orangy like the 18-MONTH-old toddler with OI than the Abusive Head Trauma retina which looked red.
Dr. Rubin explained that in a normal baby, you can see the blood vessels clearly. The other 3 photos showed blood vessel ruptures or hemorrhaging. Therefore the retina looked messy, especially the photos depicting abusive head trauma and Annie’s retina with extensive hemorrhaging. Dr. Rubin admitted that OI can cause blood vessels to become weak, that even minor shaking can break the blood vessels. But the nature and extent (seriousness and intensity) of the OI-induced injuries would be different from abusive head trauma. Dr. Rubin doesn’t think Annie had blue sclera in the eyes (but wait for Dr. Rubin’s answer when he was cross-examined by the defense). He said the first doctor who treated Annie on Oct 23, 2007 noted the cause of retinal hemorrhaging were due to 3 possibilities: (1) violent shaking (2) accidental head trauma (3) diabetes, leukemia or other diseases. Dr. Rubin ruled out the last 2 possibilities.
The defense cross-examined Dr. Rubin’s photo of an OI Type 1 baby. The retinal imaging of the OI Type 1 baby was based on injury after a minor impact, not due to accidental injury. Sing Tao Daily noted that Dr. Rubin suddenly became speechless, he stuttered after the defense asked how old the OI baby was in the photo. Dr. Rubin had to immediately look at the records for an answer. After checking the records, Dr. Rubin replied that the OI baby with minor injury was an 18-MONTH-old toddler (NOTE: Annie was a 2-MONTH-old infant). Developmental-wise you cannot compare an 18-MONTH-old toddler to a 2-MONTH-old infant. In other words, Dr. Rubin does NOT have a test group of infants about the same age as Annie to compare with Annie’s retinal images. Also, Annie’s retinal images were taken AT LEAST 10 hours AFTER she was admitted into the hospital. These much delayed retinal images could not reflect what happened at 1:00am when she just arrived (because the pediatrics ICU doctors were still sleeping at home in the wee hours). Any undetected and untreated injuries for more than 10 hours would deteriorate further the longer the delay. At cross-examination, Dr. Rubin said he has NEVER seen photos of Annie’s actual eyes, and he was NOT the attending eye doctor for Annie when she was still alive so he NEVER saw her eyes in-person. This contradicts with his earlier testimony to the prosecutor that he doesn't think Annie had blue sclera in the white part of her eyes. (NOTE: we are NOT talking about X-Ray images, but photos of Annie’s actual eyes). Upon cross-examination, Dr. Rubin had to admit that he does not know if Annie’s eyes had blue sclera – one of the symptoms of OI. Dr. Rubin said his opinion is strictly based on the medical records provided to him. Sing Tao Daily noted that Dr. Rubin was merely downloading online retina images from science magazines for this case. (NOTE: I see more evidence that certain eye doctor is too lazy) The hospital only provided a set of images to Dr. Rubin. He does not know if the retinal bleeding intensified after Annie was in the hospital for more than 8 hours BEFORE she got her first set of CAT scan, CT scan and X-Ray images. Upon cross-examination, Dr. Rubin is not familiar with OI genetic disease, or updated medical research on OI.
Although one of the attending ophthalmologist at Flushing Hospital who actually treated Annie said head trauma, chest trauma could also cause retinal bleeding, Dr. Rubin (who is an outside expert who NEVER treated Annie personally) believes head trauma would not cause retinal bleeding in BOTH eyes. Dr. Rubin further stated that the chest trauma had to be as serious as being run down by a car, in order to have caused the extent of retinal hemorrhaging as seen in Annie. Dr. Rubin said increased intracranial pressure would concentrate on the surface, not consistent with Annie’s pattern. Annie was given about 10 minutes of CPR. Dr. Rubin thinks if the CPR was NOT given properly, it could cause the surface level of the retina to bleed. Dr. Rubin admitted in court that OI can cause small blood vessels in the eyes to become fragile. But the bleeding would be concentrated in the optic nerve area, not widespread bleeding. Per Chinese World Journal, when Annie was born, she was in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) because she had respiratory problems. Annie wore oxygen mask in the NICU for 4 hours shortly after birth. (NOTE: OI not only affects bones, OI also affects connective tissues, collagen, blood vessels, muscles, etc. OI patients may have respiratory impairments such as difficulty breathing due to OI-induced impairments in the connective tissues, collagen and muscle). Dr. Rubin said Annie’s respiratory problem at birth could cause such retinal bleeding. But pediatrician only examined Annie physically (no further lab testing) and determined that she was OK to go home. The hospital records indicated that Annie did not have diabetes or leukemia that could cause retinal bleeding.
2) Afternoon session of the trial, the 13th prosecution witness: Dr. Jack Levenbrown - a pediatric radiologist. Dr. Levenbrown is also a PAID outside expert for the prosecution.
The afternoon witness was Dr. Jack Levenbrown – a pediatric radiologist. He is paid an expert fee via taxpayer money to testify for this trial because he was hired by the prosecution. Based on X-Rays, CAT scan, CT scan provided by Flushing Hospital, Dr. Levenbrown thinks Annie died from severe head trauma and violent shaking. But Dr. Levenbrown admitted in court that his expertise is in radiology, he is not trained to determine the cause of death purely based on radiology images. He thinks the accidental bumping in the head would not cause a long and smooth fracture on the right skull. Annie’s legs had 3 micro fractures (Thanks to Sing Tao Daily, the actual English words used were “corner fracture”). He thinks the 3 corner fractures were due to intentional twisting of both legs (2 corner fractures in one leg, 1 corner fracture in the other leg). He estimates the 3 corner fractures in the legs were 1-week old injuries. He doesn’t think the corner fractures were due to violent shaking. The corner fractures were due to forceful twisting, a form of abuse, the chance that it was accidental is very low. But Dr. Levenbrown admitted that Annie did not have fractures in the other parts of her body. The X-ray images of Annie when she was 8-DAYS-old showed her bones looked normal. But in Oct 2007, it was discovered that Annie’s 8th rib showed a healing fracture. He estimated the rib injury was about 2-weeks-old (NOTE: Annie's tiny infant body had NO injury on the 7th and 9th ribs which were adjacent to the 8th rib). At cross-examination, Dr. Levenbrown agreed that the rib fracture was not a sign of abuse. Ming Pao Daily and Sing Tao Daily both noted that the rib fracture on the 8th rib ONLY may be due to CPR rescue or the parent hugging the infant too tightly. (NOTE: each person’s healing speed differs, I wonder if the 8th rib was injured when the EMS worker applied the special 2-finger infant CPR on Annie (See Day 1 testimony). The EMS worker did not know Annie had OI. One symptom of OI is broken bones by even a light touch).
Based on X-ray and scan images, Dr. Levenbrown said he did not see the small pieces of bones on Annie’s skull (Wormian bones), and that her ribs and spines were normal, no abnormality in length and width. He said for mild form of OI, the patient generally has long bone fracture in the mid-section of the long bone, not these types of leg corner fracture or rib fracture. He said even if Annie had OI, it does not explain the bleeding inside the brain and the retinal bleeding.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. Computer 3-dimensional simulation of Annie's skull. NOTE: it is a computer 3-D simulation, NOT the actual skull imaging of Annie.
Dr. Levenbrown admitted in court that the ER doctors and nurses were busy reviving Annie’s heartbeat and breathing. The CAT scan, CT scan images taken at least 8 hours AFTER Annie was admitted to the hospital were not sufficient to prove that she was severely injured hours before she arrived at the ER. (NOTE: Since no scan images or X-Rays were taken on Annie’s brain shortly after she arrived at the ER at 1:00am on Oct 23, who is to say whether Annie’s brain injuries intensified because Dr. Shukla ordered the CAT scan, CT scan at around 8:00am or 9:00am on Oct 23 (at least 8 hours after her brain was left untreated).
The defense asked Dr. Levenbrown, “If the scan images were taken at least 8 hours AFTER Annie arrived at the hospital, from a medical standpoint, can you determine if the injuries were intentionally inflicted?” Dr. Levenbrown’s final reply on the stand was, “Nothing in life is 100% sure” (Note: Thanks to Sing Tao Daily, this statement is Dr. L’s reply in English).
None of the 3 Chinese media snapped photos of Dr. Rubin outside the courtroom, but fear not, here is a headshot photo of Dr. Steven Rubin.
Photo courtesy of Vitals.com. Dr. Steven Rubin - a pediatric ophthalmologist serving as the prosecution's outside paid expert. Interesting to read patients' bad comments about Dr. Rubin.
Photo courtesy of Ming Pao Daily. Dr. Jack Levenbrown - a radiologist serving as the prosecution's outside paid expert.
1) Morning & afternoon sessions of the trial, the 10th prosecution witness: Dr. Kristen Landi - a forensic pathologist with the New York City Medical Examiner's Office (hereafter: NYC ME Office). She specifically handles autopsies on pediatric unnatural death cases in the ME Office. Scroll down further to see her testimony.
4) Afternoon session of the trial, the 11th prosecution witness: Sergeant/Detective Douglas Lee - he worked for the NYPD for over 22 years to the rank of Sergeant or Detective level. He is currently working as a detective at Queens DA Office. Scroll down further to read his testimony.
Day 6 – Translations from Chinese World Journal (with additional greater details from Ming Pao Daily and Sing Tao Daily 1 and Sing Tao Daily 2 as specified, that were NOT noted by Chinese World Journal)
For the second day, Dr. Landi was summoned to testify. Defense questioned her 2007 hastily-drawn conclusion that Baby Annie’s cause of death was homicide, leading to Hang Bin Li being arrested for serious crime (homicide/murder) and being held without bail since March 11, 2008 to the current time. “If the outside experts were consulted, their assessments would be that the Medical Examiner’s Office did not do their jobs”. Dr. Landi emphasized that she is confident about her conclusion on Annie. When she answered the last question from the prosecutor, “What was the cause of Annie’s death?” Dr. Landi firmly replied, “Serious head injury”.
Regarding Annie’s cause of death, Dr. Landi concluded the following: (1) being violently shaken, (2) head and body injuries. Hang Bin Li said in the frantic moment to apply CPR on Annie to rescue her, he accidentally bumped Annie’s head. But he vehemently denies ever abusing or shaking his child. Regarding whether Annie died from OI-induced heart and blood vessel impairments leading to a heart attack, Dr. Landi said OI mostly affects the heart valves development. But Annie’s heart muscles were injured, she thinks it was new injury within 2 days old. At that time, Annie was brain dead. She thinks the heart injuries were caused by damages to central nervous system, affecting breathing, heartbeat, causing low blood pressure, along with the stimulations from ER emergency medicine applied by the doctors.
Defense said Dr. Landi made the assessment of homicide on the SAME day Annie’s body was received by Dr. Landi on Oct 29, 2007. Although Flushing Hospital provided over 300 pages of medical report on Annie, Dr. Landi only read the 6-page summary report. This indicates lack of professional obligations and responsibilities. Dr. Landi explained that her assessment was based on the autopsy done on that day. In the final autopsy report, it was primarily based on autopsy discovery and from the opinions of several experts (Ming Pao Daily noted only 2 signatures from the high-ranking people in the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office. I doubt that high-ranking bosses in the ME Office actually look at these cases in great details. Most likely rubber-stamping their signatures). Defense said Dr. Landi was hasty on this case, causing Hang Bin Li to be accused of serious crime. Last year (2012) Dr. Landi received independent lab results indicating that Annie and her parents have OI genetic defect, but she did not do further scientific testing. The only thing Dr. Landi did was to bang Annie’s skull against the corner of a table to “prove” that Annie’s skull was not more fragile than others. This “Bang the Skull against the Table Corner” is NOT a scientifically accepted method. Per Sing Tao Daily, when the defense asked Dr. Landi, “On re-examination report, you said Annie’s skull was not more fragile than kids her age. How many deceased infant skulls that have been air-dried, non-frozen, not stored in liquid medium for 4.5 years you have used to compare with Annie’s skull to lead you to your 2012 re-examination conclusion?”. Per Sing Tao Daily, Dr. Landi did not immediately respond (MY TAKE: she was probably stunned that she did NOT follow simple scientific procedures that is expected of “REAL” scientists. When you work in the NYC ME Office with the upper management letting employees illegally storing dead people’s body parts WITHOUT authorization, it’s no wonder Dr. Landi and her colleagues stop using scientifically approved methods to draw their conclusions. The NYC ME Office sounds like the butt of jokes to the national media in recent years. As NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves to say, "You are a disgrace (the NYC ME Office, that is)". Read the following news about the NYC Medical Examiners' office (yes, they are all scandalous news from the same NYC Medical Examiners' office where Dr. Landi works): News headline from CNN on Oct 27, 2010: Parents shocked to learn examiner kept son's brain. News headline from NY Post on July 23, 2012: Medical Examiner's office kept Brooklyn baby's brain after autopsy. News headline from NY Post on Oct 28, 2012: Medical examiner keeps thousands of brains for "tests" families call needless.
Per Sing Tao Daily and Ming Pao Daily, you wouldn’t publish this “Bang the Skull against Table Corner” method in respected medical journals. No test groups to compare Annie’s skull to other deceased children around the same age as Annie whose bones had been air-dried, non-frozen, and not stored in liquid format for nearly 5 years. (MY TAKE: this “voodoo” “Bang the Skull” method has not been peer-reviewed by "REAL" scientists. Even though she videotaped the “Bang the Skull” session, Dr. Landi did not state how hard she banged the skull, was it “lady like” force? The TV images have ways to trick people how hard the force was applied. Was there independent machine gauging how much force was applied to the “bang the skull” voodoo demonstration? Then compare the “Bang the Skull” on other deceased infants around same age as Annie)
Despite being questioned by the defense, Dr. Landi seemed satisfied with her UNscientifically accepted method as the valid way to prove that Annie’s bone structures were normal. After new assessment in 2012, the new autopsy report did NOT add any new details. It only provided the signatures of 2 high-ranking Medical Examiners in the NYC ME office on the new report. One week before Dr. Landi showed up to testify for this trial, she was still consulting with other experts about Annie’s case, asking them about the definition of "Anterior Rib Flaring", and their opinions on whether Annie really had OI genetic defects. (NOTE: This shows that Dr. Landi was unsure about her own autopsy work done in 2007 and again in 2012. In January 2013, just one week before she testified in court, she had to look like she really knew what she was doing on her job (to the jurors) despite her last-minute consultations with experts 5 years after the inital 2007 autopsy, and half year after her re-examination of her old autopsy work in Summer 2012. If Dr. Landi was REALLY confident about her own work, the expert consultations should have been done in Summer 2012 BEFORE she issued the re-examined autopsy report. But I believe the 2012 re-examined autopsy report only included the signatures of 2 high-ranking bosses in the NYC ME office, no mentioning of the external outside experts consulted).
Defense says this Medical Examiner (Dr. Landi) was too busy and too overworked to treat Annie’s case seriously. (My CF gathers from Ming Pao Daily on Day 5 that Dr. Landi claims she has done autopsies on 17,000 bodies in her 9 years at the NYC ME Office. Do the math: if Dr. Landi didn’t take vacation days, and she worked through 365 days/year in the past 9 years, on average she performed 1,889 autopsies per year. Her average daily workload was 5 autopsies per day. If she works 8 hours per day, on average she could spend no more than 2 hours on each autopsy)
Per Ming Pao Daily on Day 6, the defense used sharp words during the cross-examination. The defense questioned Dr. Landi’s work process. When she performs autopsies, she doesn’t directly record the findings, but uses voice recording to record, then transcribes into written words. This reduces the accuracy of the diagnosis. The defense said on Oct 29, 2007 when Dr. Landi did autopsy on Annie, she did not look at the ER records or the nurses’ records. All she read was the 6-page summary report out of the 300+ pages of medical report on Annie to make the diagnostic conclusion. The defense questioned if Dr. Landi’s autopsy work was performed without factual basis, and too hasty to jump to conclusion (After all, if Dr. Landi doesn’t take vacation days EVER, on average she has less than 2 hours to perform EACH autopsy).
Per Ming Pao Daily, the defense asked Dr. Landi to confirm the symptoms of babies being violently shaken. If there are injuries to the brain, to the ribs and leg bones, why Annie's neck did NOT sustain any injuries? Dr. Landi says this doesn’t mean it’s not possible (NOTE: this doesn’t sound like what a scientifically-trained person (a pediatric forensic pathologist) would say, based on scientific training and continuing education on Shaken Baby Syndrome. But it is probably acceptable in the NYC ME Office who doesn't give a crap about illegally storing dead body parts, making national headline news, becoming the butt of jokes in the nation).
After cross-examination, the prosecutor asked a few supplemental questions from Dr. Landi (MY TAKE: prosecutor wanted to make Dr. Landi looked a bit less like the “voodoo doctor” in an ME Office that is NOT known for ethical or professional conduct, read the CNN news and NY Post coverages about this NYC ME Office). Dr. Landi said the 6 page summary included all the examination results. She subsequently added 300 pages of the records as reference. By the prosecution request, she examined Annie in detail, including sawing the skull, cutting the rib bone, stretching, smoothing, bending the bones, no abnormality found. Regarding Annie’s skull to test for bone strength in comparison with normal baby her age, she explains that she has seen more than 100 baby skulls. But it’s unethical to bang on other babies’ skulls (MY TAKE: So it’s unethical to bang on other deceased babies’ skulls for this case but perfectly ethical for Dr. Landi and her colleagues to steal other dead people’s brains (dead babies' brains included) in the NYC ME Office without authorization from the family members of the deceased). Dr. Landi said time was limited (yes, we know you have less than 2 hours to do each autopsy on a good day), and it was NOT for medical journal publishing. She said she did all she could (I bet it’s more ETHICAL to keep dead people’s brain than dead people’s skull, I bet the upper management at NYC ME Office has been condoning such unethical practice for years. When you are working in an office with so little regards for ethics and morals, it’s no wonder Dr. Landi says she’s confident about her "voodoo" results).
Dr. Landi emphasized that she won’t be punished for making new assessments on the results (Translation: she won’t be punished for screwing up on the job). But she would be responsible if she doesn’t correct mistakes made in the assessment. When she receives new information, she would consult with experts in the ME Office. She said the experts think the new information are not in conflict with the original discovery and conclusion (homicide). The prosecutor threw in breast cancer gene (MY TAKE: prosecutor threw this in solely to confuse people about genetics to say that people may have the breast cancer gene but never become ill with breast cancer). For your information, I checked the NIH (National Institute of Health) website on this. Americans are too lazy to admit that their sedentary lifestyles and eating habits contribute to breast cancer. Per the NIH website, the genetic changes (for breast cancer) are acquired DURING a person's lifetime and are present only in certain cells. Cancer, diabetes and other health problems were rare in Japan. But when Japanese people migrated to Hawaii, they abandoned their Japanese diet and lifestyles and adapted to American diet and lifestyles. The Japanese people who lived in Hawaii began "sudden onset" "GENE mutation" DURING their lifetime and developed cancer and diabetes in large numbers. (Geez, it must be the unclean waters in Hawaii causing huge group of Japanese people to get "sudden onset GENE mutation" leading to cancer and diabetes). The following is a quote from the NIH website on breast cancer and genetics.
Most cases of breast cancer are not inherited. These cancers are associated with genetic changes that occur only in breast cancer cells (somatic mutations) and occur during a person's lifetime.
The second witness on Day 6 was a detective at the Queens DA office: Sergeant/Detective Douglas Lee who can speak Mandarin Chinese plus two other Chinese dialects: Cantonese and Taishan dialects. Det. Lee interviewed Hang Bin Li in Mandarin Chinese on Oct 26, 2007 and in May 2012. He recalled that Hang Bin Li gave up his right to an attorney, that he was cooperative. Last year (2012) Det. Lee interviewed Hang Bin Li about his family’s medical history. Hang Bin Li indicated that he easily bruises, had broken tooth in childhood. At age 8, he had a fracture on his right shoulder. Shortly after his aunt (younger sister of his mother) was born in China, she was found to have bone problems. (NOTE: getting bruises easily, broken teeth, bone fractures for little or no reason are all symptoms of OI. And Hang Bin Li is confirmed through independent lab results that he has the defective OI gene in him, so did his child Annie).
Photo courtesy of Chinese World Journal. From l to r: Dr. Kristen Landi, Marjory Fisher - Bureau Chief at Queens DA Office and an unidentified male. My CF says in the actual paper version of the newspaper, this unidentified male looked a bit like amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos but with smaller eyes. And that compare to photos on Day 5, Dr. Landi looked more evasive and tight-lipped when being photographed on Day 6 after being cross-examined by the defense.
Photo courtesy of Chinese World Journal. The paper version shows a more up-close photo than the internet version. You can see the 3 people's faces a bit more clearly. Do you agree with my CF's observations?
Photo courtesy of Chinese World Journal. Sergeant/Detective Douglas Lee who currently works as a detective at the Queens DA Office.
I just saw Michael Chu posting 2 comments at the end of this blog. Feel free to scroll to the bottom to read his comments dated January 18, 2013.
My CF's overall impression of Days 3 to 6 based on Chinese newspapers coverage.
1) Morning & afternoon sessions of the trial, the 10th prosecution witness: Dr. Kristen Landi - a forensic pathologist with the New York City Medical Examiner's Office (hereafter: NYC ME Office). She specifically handles autopsies on pediatric unnatural death cases in the ME Office. Scroll down further to see her testimony.
Day 5 began with Dr. Landi being asked by the prosecution about her background and experience. Dr. Landi has performed about 17,000 autopsies in her 9 years of service at the NYC ME Office. She said that although Annie was born early, for an 8-WEEK-old infant, Annie was well-fed and well-taken care of. She was a big baby for her age. She noted that Annie was 26 inches long, weighed 7 kg (about 15 lbs). Annie arrived at the ME Office still in her pink color infant outfit and diaper per Chinese World Journal. She noted that Annie had a lot of needle holes due to ER rescue at the hospital. Her forehead and left chest had bruises, possibly due to staying in the hospital for days (NOTE: Annie is confirmed to have OI, one symptom of OI is easy bruises for little or no reason). Annie had serious internal head injury. She had been brain dead for a few days. Her brain was much softer than normal people. Dr. Landi noted right skull fracture, swelling, brain lacking oxygen. She said infants’ brains are like jello, that shaking could cause problems. The prosecution contacted Dr. Landi in 2012 requesting Annie’s remains to perform DNA/genetic testing by an independent court-appointed lab in the US. Because Annie was buried in December 2007 in a public burial site, Dr. Landi asked forensics personnel to get Annie’s remains and to take certain body part to the DNA/genetic lab. Then Dr. Landi was notified about Annie’s DNA genetic test results in May 2012. After obtaining the DNA/genetics test results on Annie and her parents, Dr. Landi used 2 pieces of Annie’s skull to do a testing. She recorded this “Bang the skull” procedure in a video which was shown to the jurors. When the video showed images of Annie’s X-ray images and the “Bang the Skull” demonstration, all 3 Chinese news media noted that Hang Bin Li was sobbing and covering his face in tears. After Day 5 of the trial was over, he phoned Michael Chu from Rikers Island Detention Center. He told Michael Chu that no matter what the trial verdict will be, he wants the prosecution to return all remains of Annie for a full and proper burial.
Regarding Dr. Landi’s statement that nobody claimed Annie’s body, that she had to arrange for Annie to be buried in a public burial site letting Federal prisoners to bury her. Michael Chu said Hang Bin Li and Ying Li had asked the police many times to get Annie’s body for burial. But the police only said, “Not our business”. As recent immigrants with no other family members in America to help them, neither Hang Bin Li or Ying Li could speak English well enough at the time to know where and how to claim Annie’s body. Regarding their inabilities to personally bury Annie, the Li couple feel great pain. Ying Li was only able to visit Annie’s grave FOR THE FIRST TIME after she was released on bail in March 2012.
Sing Tao Daily provided the following details. Regarding the force that led to Annie’s injuries, the defense noted that Dr. Landi consulted experts in 2007 who said the force leading to Annie’s injuries was “indeterminate” force. “Indeterminate” force meaning “unable to provide a definite amount”. So “indeterminate force” does NOT equate to “significant great force”. But in the 2007 autopsy report, Dr. Landi wrote that it was violent shaking, skull fracture, bleeding inside the brain. Hence she concluded the cause of death was homicide due to “significant great force” inflicted on Annie. When Dr. Landi performed the autopsy in 2007, it was in the presence of NYPD detective and other medical examiners. She took full X-rays and did additional analysis on Annie’s hands, legs and joints.
Dr. Landi used small knife to open Annie’s skull to take the right skull out. Then she took the eyes for autopsy to check the retina. She took sample of spine and rib to analyze. She noticed Annie’s brain was dead earlier than the other organs, primarily due to the brain lacking oxygen. The brain’s natural reaction was to continue to swell. In the end, the swelling put pressure on the central nervous system cutting off the oxygen affecting Annie’s ability to breathe on her own. Besides the pieces of skull, Annie’s legs showed 3 small fractures, retinal hemorrhaging, etc. She said Annie showed low blood pressure because of lack of blood supply. The blood vessels had to work extra in the heart, caused the heart to have pressure. But Dr. Landi insists that heart failure was not the cause of death. Dr. Landi said in SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome) head trauma, the key is not shaking for how many times, but the up and down shaking forces. She said normally when a parent gives the baby to other parent to hold onto, the force won’t cause brain trauma (NOTE: it was not under normal condition, the parents were in a frantic state to rescue Annie on that night. And Annie is confirmed to have OI genetic defect). SBS abused babies have leg fractures, possibly due to shaking greatly that the two legs involuntarily moved. Dr. Landi insists that Annie’s injuries were due to “substantial force” and “significant force”. She doesn’t believe Annie’s head trauma was consistent with Hang Bin Li accidentally bumping her head while trying to apply CPR.
The defense noted that in the blood-related injury, Dr. Landi did NOT write whether it was “Intentional” or “Accidental”. Also, in Oct and Nov 2007, Dr. Landi did not do genetic testing for collagen or protein analysis testings for Annie.
The defense also noted that on Jan 9, 2013 (about one week before Dr. Landi was to testify for this trial), Dr. Landi asked an expert about Annie. In the e-mail inquiry to the same expert, Dr. Landi asked the expert again for the definition of “Anterior Flaring of the Ribs”. Dr. Landi also asked the expert, “Is it possible or impossible for Annie to have OI genetic defect?”. The defense said the e-mail was provided by the prosecutor to ensure a fair trial. The prosecutor is following proper court procedure to hand over information they possess about the trial to the defense.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: Prosecution witness Dr. Kristen Landi - a forensic pathologist in the New York City Medical Examiner's office. The unidentified female on the right appeared to be the same female who stood next to Dr. James T. Goodrich in a separate photo on Day 2 of the trial. Looks like the same female with the same hairstyle, same crocodile pattern brown handbag worn on the (same) right shoulder. So she probably works for the Queens DA office, not an assistant to Dr. James T. Goodrich.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. X-ray images of Baby Annie's Rib.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: Marjory Fisher - Bureau Chief at Special Victim's Unit in Queens County District Attorney's Office, and Leigh Bishop - senior prosecutor at Special Victim's Unit in Queens DA office.
Day 5 January 16, 2013 - I assume no message(s) from tipster(s) meant the witnesses behaved "normally" today. Perhaps the other witnesses did NOT repeat Dr. Rusly Harsono's crazy tirade and outburst on Day 4 or the tipster(s) did not listen to the trial or the tipster(s) just don't bother notifying me. Dr. Harsono's uncooperative testimony on Day 4 may have delayed the subsequent witness schedule on Day 5 and thereafter (especially the genetic experts and Shaken Baby Syndrome experts that are supposed to be testifying).
Incidentally, I saw defense attorney Cedric Ashley tweeting at 5:45pm EST on January 16, 2013. His tweet gives you glimpses that he will use an e-mail on cross-examination after Day 5 (obviously). I'm sure we will find out through Chinese newspapers what e-mail he is talking about that the prosecutor turned over to him.
: My CF told me Ming Pao Daily did write that Dr. Rusly Harsono (Asian doctor originally from Indonesia) may be a famous academic scholar and doctor, but he was a rotten prosecution witness on the stand. Dr. Harsono definitely did NOT win "The Most Likable/Ms. or Mr. Congeniality Witness Award" among the jurors. I gather the news reporters saw the negative facial expressions on the jurors' faces when Dr. Harsono opened his mouth on the stand at cross-examination. Sing Tao Daily seems to have the correct spelling of this NYPD officer's name: Matthew Degnan.
1) Morning session of the trial, the 8th prosecution witness: Matthew Degnan - NYPD detective who arrested Hang Bin Li and Ying Li based on Dr. Landi's autopsy report on Baby Annie.
2) Afternoon session of the trial, the 9th prosecution witness: Dr. Rusly Harsono - he is currently working at Cardon's Children Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He was the primary pediatric doctor of Annie during her stay at Flushing Hospital in October 2007.
Per Chinese World Journal, Day 4 began with testimony from NYPD detective Matthew Degnan. Det. Degnan said he and a partner went to the Li’s home at around 11pm on Oct 23, 2007. Because there was no Chinese translator, Hang Bin Li and Ying Li only used simple English words to answer the police. (NOTE: Hang Bin Li worked in Chinese restaurants after he came to America from China, so he probably only understood basic English words like delivery, take-out, rice, chicken, beef, etc at that time) On Oct 25, 2007, the police and a Chinese translator went to the scene. The police talked to the person who called 911 (the landlord Mrs. Zhou). Det. Degnan said Hang Bin Li told the police that before Annie was rushed to the hospital, her head was bumped against the table in the frantic moment to give her CPR. Prosecution showed this table in court. Prosecution also displayed photos of the exterior of the Li’s home and the hand sketching of the interior of the Li’s home. Per Sing Tao Daily, Det. Degnan was notified by the doctors that Annie was brain dead on Oct 26, 2007. Then on Oct 29, 2007 the police investigation turned into homicide investigation after Dr. Kristen Landi’s autopsy report said Annie’s cause of death was homicide. Per Chinese World Journal, Det. Degnan admitted in court that there are NO witnesses who could claim that Hang Bin Li ever abused his child and NO evidence found at the scene that may suggest child abuse. He arrested Hang Bin Li and Ying Li solely based on the autopsy report by Dr. Kristen Landi. On Nov 3, 2007, Det. Degnan and another detective went to the Li’s home to ensure that Hang Bin Li was still in New York City. On January 2008, the police interviewed Dong Yong Li (a friend of Hang Bin Li) again and other eyewitnesses to learn more about the incidence. On March 11, 2008, the police got search warrant to obtain the table where Annie’s head was bumped against.
After Det. Degnan’s testimony, the next prosecution witness was Dr. Rusly Harsono who was the primary pediatrician doctor for Annie during her stay at Flushing Hospital.
A simple check online found Dr. Rusly Harsono obtained his medical license in Arizona on Sept 30, 2010. Between July 2000 to June 2007, Dr. Harsono obtained his internship, residency, and fellowship in 3 different hospitals in New York. From July 2007 to Dec 2010, he worked as an attending physician at Flushing Hospital in Queens, NY. Then Dr. Harsono moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2010 to start his new job at Cardon’s Children Medical Center. On the witness stand, Dr. Harsono said he has treated 50,000 patients in his 5 years as an attending physician. Among them were pediatric patients with OI and abused children. Do the math, if Dr. H didn’t take vacation days in 5 years, and he worked through 365 days per year, on average he saw 27 patients per day or 10,000 patients per year.
Per Sing Tao Daily, the cause of Annie’s death is the biggest controversy in this case. It was a very heated cross-examination. (NOTE: Dr. Harsono was not cooperative during cross-examination. He was extremely defensive and rude. The jurors and audience in the galley got a taste of what parents must have felt when their child was under the care of this crazy and rude pediatrics doctor)
Dr. Harsono said Annie’s head injuries and retinal hemorrhaging were signs of head trauma by a sudden blow with acceleration and deceleration forces. So he thinks it was not accidental head injury. He said these signs are symptoms of abuse. Dr. H estimates that from the time Mrs. Zhou called 911 to the time EMS arrived to help revive Annie’s heartbeat, it should be around 24-30 minutes. But the most ideal rescue time should be within 6 minutes. (NOTE: Dr. Harsono's estimate of 24 to 30 minutes is different from Dr. Patel's estimate of 8 to 10 minutes. See Day 3 testimony from Dr. Patel who was the FIRST doctor who treated Annie when she first arrived at Flushing Hospital's ER)
Dr. H answered prosecutor’s question regarding baby’s brain. He said a baby under 8 months old has high flexibility in the skull, the brain has room to grow and develop. When asked about Annie’s brain injury, he said (Sing Tao Daily provided direct English reply) “very suspicious something was going on in early hours”. When prosecutor asked if a baby being bumped in the head would cause these conditions, Dr. H said accidental strike/blow is not consistent with such traumatic injury. From clinical diagnosis, Annie did not exhibit signs of OI externally, so he won’t change his opinion on Annie’s cause of death. Dr. H said after Annie was admitted to Flushing Hospital, her conditions were unstable, requiring machines and a lot of medicine to maintain her life and her brain functions. Through examination of her brain, he saw signs of abusive head trauma.
Per Sing Tao Daily, Dr. Harsono is originally from Indonesia. He can speak Mandarin Chinese and two Chinese dialects: Hokkien and Hakka dialects. So Dr. H could communicate with Hang Bin Li and Ying Li. On Oct 26, 2007, he and another doctor did full examination of Annie’s head twice. But Annie was still unresponsive. On the same day, he told Hang Bin Li that the baby was brain dead. But because Hang Bin Li and Ying Li begged him and kneeled on the floor, Dr. Harsono kept the life support on Annie until 2:30pm on Oct 28, 2007. Then Dr. H personally gave Annie’s body to Hang Bin Li’s hand. Per Sing Tao Daily, Dr. Harsono said he has only seen people in the movies doing such dramatic begging and kneeling on the floor, not in real life. (MY TAKE: what a heartless and cold-blooded doctor! If he claims he has treated 50,000 pediatric patients in 5 years, it’s hard to believe that other parents did not react so strongly when they were told their children were facing imminent death or in grave condition) Dr. H asked Hang Bin Li how Annie became like this. Hang Bin Li replied that a few minutes before entering Flushing Hospital, he accidentally bumped Annie’s head against the table while trying to give her CPR. Dr. H consulted with experts on abusive head trauma. His conclusion was “abusive attack”. One month after Annie’s death, Dr. H received the autopsy report from the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office. He learned that besides the skull fracture, there were leg fractures, rib fracture (in the 8th rib), and retinal hemorrhaging. This autopsy report by Dr. Kristen Landi further confirmed his belief that Annie had suffered serious strike/blow and she was shaken violently.
The defense cross-examined Dr. Harsono for nearly 2 hours. Per the tipster: Dr. Harsono spent most of the time cutting off the attorney at mid-question, or giving answers unrelated to the questions. Dr. Harsono’s stalling tactics give you an idea that he was extremely defensive, as though he was trying to hide his medical mistakes. Judge Buchter had to intervene many times to tell Dr. H to behave himself.
The defense managed to ask the following questions per Ming Pao Daily without being cut-off by Dr. Harsono,
“Do you know Annie’s heart was calcified?”
“Do you know Annie’s skull exhibit small bone fractures?” (NOTE: small bone fractures refer to Wormian bones or Inca bones. Wormian bones are markers for diseases and important in the primary diagnosis of OI genetic defect).
“Did you do OI testing when Annie was alive?”
Per Ming Pao Daily, the defense asked Dr. Harsono, “Why do parents have to support infant’s neck?”
Dr. H replied: Babies up to 6 months old, their necks cannot support their head. If the neck is not supported, it can lead to fracture in spine 1 to 7.
Defense asked: If a baby is being violently shaken, the force on the neck is more serious than parents not supporting the neck, do abused babies’ necks have problems?
Dr. H replied evasively, hedging his answer (because he knew the autopsy report showed NO injury to Annie’s neck): Possibly yes, possibly no (NOTE: this is merely a translation. Check with the original court transcript in English). He explained that on serious cases, baby’s neck could have neck fracture or no neck fracture. He claimed that it is possible for abused babies to have NO bone fracture on the surface, but fracture on the inside of the spine only. (NOTE: but wait! Dr. H said the neck is the weakest part of the young infant’s body, the neck is not even strong enough to support the head, so how could the neck not be injured if the baby was violently shaken?).
Photo courtesy of Ming Pao Daily. Prosecution witness NYPD detective Matthew Degnan.
Photo courtesy of Ming Pao Daily. Dr. Rusly Harsono worked as a pediatrician at Flushing Hospital in 2007. Per Ming Pao Daily and the tipster. Dr. Harsono lacks bedside manner, he definitely didn't win "The Most Likable Witness Award" among the jurors.
EVERYONE: If you can get court transcript from Day 4 (Jan 15, 2013). Be sure to count how many times Judge Buchter had to tell Dr. Rusly Harsono to let the attorney finished the question before jumping into his answers (very rude). And how many times Judge Buchter had to tell Dr. Rusly Harsono to ONLY answer what was asked, no more than that. See defense attorney Cedric Ashley's tweet at 6:52pm EST on January 15, 2013 if you don't believe it.
A tipster just sent me a message about Day 4 (Jan 15, 2013). Dr. Rusly Harsono who testified today (Tue, Jan 15) was so full of himself, so arrogant, so stubborn, he was jumping into his answers before the question was finished by the defense attorney. Essentially cutting off people at mid-question, very rude behavior. Dr. Rusly Harsono went into full-blown "attack mode" when the defense attorney began asking his first question in calm manners. he was answering extra stuff not asked of him. At certain point, Dr. Rusly Harsono was telling the defense attorney "I won't answer what I don't agree with". Even Judge Buchter had to keep reminding Dr. Rusly Harsono to wait till the question was finished, then he should only answer what was being asked. It was a lot of theatrics from this Dr. Rusly Harsono.
I beg the tipster to supply more info.
I trust that in tomorrow's Chinese newspapers, we will read about this Asian doctor's rude behavior. Who says doctors are supposed to be normal? We have seen the lunatic Dr. House on TV show who doesn't have bedside manners. But he sure has many personal issues and problems. We also see doctors with messy lives from "Grey's Anatomy" on TV.
If you are a parent, would you want your child to be treated by this rude and crazy Asian pediatrician doctor? He obviously doesn't like to be challenged. If you are a parent telling this Asian doctor that you are seeking a second opinion somewhere else, he might go ballistic on you and your child "How dare you challenge my expert opinion?".
Day 4 of the trial on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 will be a very busy day. Ying Li will go to Family Court to ask the judge to grant her custody of her second daughter Angela Nianni Li. And prosecutor Leigh Bishop may need to step off the Hang Bin Li trial for a short time for a hearing for the Allen Shannon case. Obviously, either Judge Gregory Lasak or Allen Shannon or both men rejected the ridiculous plea deal offered in Sept 2012.
1) Morning session of the trial, the 5th prosecution witness: Dr. Mayank Patel - he worked as a pediatrician in the ER (Emergency Room) at Flushing Hospital in 2007. He should be the first witness for Day 3 based on the direct sunlight in his head and back in the photo below.
2) Afternoon session of the trial, the 6th prosecution witness: Dennis Chan - NYPD Sergeant who served as a Chinese translator for Hang Bin Li and Ying Li. There were still plenty of light in the corridor, I guess Sgt. Chan showed up around the mid-noon sun.
3) Afternoon session of the trial, the 7th prosecution witness: Dr. Mayank Shukla - he worked as a pediatrician in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at Flushing Hospital in 2007. Relatively less lighting in the photo below, I guess Dr. Shukla was the third witness for Day 3.
NOTE: the 2 Indian doctors' names seemed to be mis-spelled in the papers. One can lookup licensed medical doctors with the New York State professional licensing board online. Among the list of Patels with first name beginning with "M", there is only one pediatrician called Mayank Patel in the state of NY who currently practices in Floral Park, Queens with hospital privileges at Flushing Hospital, and only one pediatrician called Mayank Shukla in the state of NY with hospital privileges at Flushing Hospital.
On Day 3, prosecutor called the pediatric ER doctor Dr. Patel, the pediatric ICU doctor Dr. Shukla, and NYPD Sergeant Dennis Chan (his Sergeant job title was provided by Sing Tao Daily). Dr. Mayank Patel – the pediatric ER doctor has 16 years of medical practice. Dr. Patel estimates that Annie lacked oxygen for 8 to 10 minutes before she arrived at the ER in Flushing Hospital. Dr. Patel’s statement is consistent with what the eyewitnesses reported – namely that Annie was unconscious shortly before 1:00am, 911 was called, then the EMS arrived and brought Annie to the ER in the hospital at around 1:00am (See Day 1 witness testimonies). After 90 minutes of rescue at the ER, Annie’s heartbeat was revived, but she could not breathe on her own. Dr. Patel admitted in court that Annie did NOT get CAT scan or CT scan on her brain immediately after arrival to the hospital (the brain scans were done at 8 o’clock in the morning, or 7 hours after Annie arrived at the hospital). Based on Annie’s injuries, neither Dr. Patel nor Dr. Shukla thought Annie had OI genetic defect. Dr. Patel did not ask about Annie’s family medical history.
Dr. Patel said he has treated over 100 children who were abused, but he did NOT see signs of child abuse in Annie. The defense asked Dr. Patel his experience in treating OI patients. Dr. Patel said he has treated two OI patients, but in both cases the parents told Dr. Patel about their child’s OI diagnosis. So Dr. Patel was able to give proper care. On the night Annie was in the ER, Dr. Patel said his job at the ER was to revive Annie’s heartbeat and restore her breathing.
Photo courtesy of Ming Pao Daily. Dr. Mayank Patel worked as a pediatrician in the ER (Emergency Room) at Flushing Hospital in 2007. I gather from the natural sunlight behind Dr. Patel's back that he was the morning witness.
NYPD Sergeant Dennis Chan interviewed Hang Bin Li and Ying Li in Mandarin Chinese on Oct 24 and 25 in 2007. Sgt. Chan can speak Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese dialect. He was there to serve as a Chinese translator for Hang Bin Li and Ying Li. Sgt. Chan said because it was not an arrest, so he did not inform them of their Miranda’s rights. Per Ming Pao Daily, Sgt. Chan was asked to read and translate written reports by Hang Bin Li in court. The written reports were the hour-by-hour accounts of what happened from the morning on Oct 22, 2007 to 1:00am on Oct 23, 2007. In the first report, Hang Bin Li wrote in Chinese that Annie ate 5 times that day, each time she drank between 2 to 4 ounces of milk. The last time she was fed was 12:45pm on Oct 23, 2007. In the middle of feeding, Annie coughed, spilled the milk, her face turned pale, lips turned purple, her 4 limbs became limp. Then Hang Bin Li yelled out the baby’s name, gave her CPR and asked Dong Yong Li (his friend and the god-father of Annie) to get the landlord to call 911.
Sgt. Chan noted some discrepancies in the statements provided by Hang Bin Li and Ying Li. Sgt. Chan asked Hang Bin Li to write his statement the second time in Chinese again. This time Hang Bin Li said when he received the unconscious baby from Ying Li’s arms, he accidentally bumped the baby’s head against the table. (NOTE: The medical emergency incidence took place in the early hours on Oct 23. At the police interview on Oct 24 and 25, they were done more than 24 hours after the incidence. Both parents provided the hour-by-hour accounts of what happened from the morning on Oct 22 to the time Annie was admitted to the hospital at 1:00am on Oct 23. When you are being interviewed to provide hour-by-hour account of what happened in the last 17 hours leading to your child unconscious and not breathing on her own in the hospital, you are bound to overlook certain details you thought were not crucial. The parents probably didn’t think the head bump was serious, because they checked her head and they did not see any external injury on her head. The parents’ main concerns were that Annie wasn’t conscious, wasn’t breathing, she had no pulse and no heartbeat. So in the commotion to apply CPR on Annie to give her oxygen, the father accidentally bumped the baby’s head).
The defense noted that Hang Bin Li never deny that Annie’s head was accidentally bumped against the table, the father’s mind was unstable due to his child being unconscious. Ming Pao Daily noted that the defense said it is not uncommon for parents to accidentally injure their child, this does not constitute endangering the welfare of a child, and definitely not manslaughter or second degree murder.
After Sgt. Chan interviewed Hang Bin Li and Ying Li, he and his police partner went to the Li’s home with them. Hang Bin Li used a stuffed animal to demonstrate how Annie was accidentally bumped in the head at home. But there is no written record in the police report how much force and how much velocity the bump was. The prosecution showed photos of the Li’s home including the bed and the table where Annie’s head was accidentally bumped.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: NYPD Sergeant Dennis Chan and prosecutor Leigh Bishop.
Another doctor who treated Annie was Dr. Mayank Shukla in the pediatric ICU. On Oct 23, 2007 at around 8 o'clock in the morning, Dr. Shukla noticed that Annie could not breathe on her own. Her hemoglobin level was significantly lower than infants her age. He thought this was either due to massive internal bleeding or infection. Dr. Shukla ordered a set of CAT scan, CT scan, X-Rays, etc on Annie in the morning (some time after 8 o'clock). He discovered that Annie had fracture in her skull, her brain matter shifted over the mid-line, bleeding in the brain, brain swelling, etc.
The defense questioned Dr. Shukla about the delay in discovery of internal brain injury. This kind of brain injury could occur within a few hours. The longer you delay treatment, the more serious the brain injury become. Although Annie arrived at the hospital ER at 1:00am on Oct 23, 2007, the doctors delayed the brain scan until 8:00am (7 hours later). The CAT scan, CT scan and X-Rays only showed what happened at 8:00am AFTER Dr. Shukla reported to work and ordered the brain scan, NOT what happened when Annie arrived at the hospital 7 hours beforehand.
Photo courtesy of Ming Pao Daily. Dr. Mayank Shukla worked as a pediatrician in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at Flushing Hospital in 2007. Relatively less lighting in this photo, I guess Dr. Shukla was the third witness for Day 3.
: The Battle of Medical/Genetics Science officially began during the afternoon session on Day 2 when Dr. James T. Goodrich at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, NY came to testify. Trust me! Ask the court officers present on Day 2, I bet they did not fall asleep when defense attorney Cedric Ashley bombarded Dr. James T. Goodrich (prosecution witness) with a long list of questions the doctor could not answer. It was the best coffee/caffeine kick the court officers could get. If you're lucky enough to receive the court transcript, read the part where Cedric Ashley cross-examined Dr. James T. Goodrich.
It was a SUPER ROUGH day for an esteemed neurosurgeon, Dr. James T. Goodrich, who was humiliated in front of 16 jurors, a judge, a prosecutor and her DA boss in the Bureau, a stenographer, defendant Hang Bin Li and his court-appointed Chinese translator, a few court officers, the doctor's assistant, a dozen supporters of the Li family, and at least 4 Chinese newspapers reporters plus Jeffrey E. Singer with the NY Times who decided NOT to publish Day 2 of the trial at the NY Times. And you think only the Communist China media machine censors news coverage and the truth! It certainly would have been nightmare bad press for both Dr. Goodrich and the prosecution if the NY Times published Day 2 of the trial. But fear not, the NYC-Chinese newspapers came to the rescue with full trial coverage of Day 2 and thereafter.
1) Morning session of the trial, the 3rd prosecution witness: John Phelan is an NYPD detective with the Child Abuse Squad. Scroll down further to see his testimony.
4) Afternoon session of the trial, the 4th prosecution witness: Dr. James T. Goodrich is a pediatric neurosurgeon, currently at Montefiore Hospital. In 2007, he was the primary doctor for Baby Annie when she was admitted to Flushing Hospital. Scroll down further to read his testimony.
Kudos to Ming Pao Daily for the best trial coverage of prosecution witness Dr. James T. Goodrich (see the translation below). Defense attorney Cedric Ashley did a great job cross-examining Dr. Goodrich. Ashley knew he did great today, see his tweet dated Jan 10, 2013 at 6:23pm EST. Chinese World Journal provided good coverage of the morning testimony of John Phelan who is an NYPD detective in the Child Abuse Squad. The Queens County DA office obviously feels insecure about this case. Marjory Fisher is the Bureau Chief at the Queens County District Attorney’s office (aka: prosecutor Leigh Bishop’s boss). So far, Bureau Chief Fisher sat on the 1st row of the galley on Days 1 and 2 of the trial (Day 3 will be next Monday). Bureau Chief Fisher wrote and passed notes to Bishop while the trial was in session. Sing Tao Daily provided certain details that deserve translations. I’m told that although Jeffrey E. Singer at the NY Times attended Day 2 of the trial, I cannot find any NY Times articles coverage for Day 2. For undisclosed reason, Day 2 was not published in the NY Times. If I was Dr. James T. Goodrich, I wouldn't want to see the NY Times writing about me looking like an absolute fool on Day 2 of the Hang Bin Li trial. See 2 photos below, Chinese news reporters snapped pictures of Dr. Goodrich after he exited the courtroom, his entire face looked RED. I’m told that another NYC-Chinese newspaper Qiao Bao also covers this trial. I'm told that Qiao Bao is affiliated with Communist China's media machine, so the news should be relaying back to Mainland China's media outlets, especially to the Fujian province of China where Hang Bin Li and Ying Li came from.
Translations from Chinese World Journal with special additions/translations from Sing Tao Daily: Day 2 of the trial began with the morning testimony from witness John Phelan - an NYPD detective Child Abuse Squad. After Baby Annie was admitted to Flushing Hospital on Oct 23, 2007, the doctors suspected child abuse and notified the police. Detective Phelan and a Chinese-speaking detective from the NYPD 109 Precinct began the investigation. The 2 detectives went to the hospital to interrogate Hang Bin Li and Ying Li. Phelan stated that the Chinese couple had their Miranda's Rights read to them - the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. But the Lis were very emotional on that day that they were willing to give up their Miranda's rights. Phelan recalled that Ying Li appeared depressed and dismayed, not responsive to questions. But Hang Bin Li was much more emotional and agitated. When the detective asked if he loved his daughter, Mr. Li replied angrily, "I love my daughter!". The couple both indicated that 12 hours prior to the incidence, only 3 people: the couple and the infant's godfather Dong Yong Li had touched the infant.
At cross-examination, defense attorney Cedric Ashley pressed on the flaws of the police investigation. Ashley pointed out that Phelan doesn't speak Chinese and that Phelan did not know the level of Chinese language proficiency skills of the police detective who accompanied him to the hospital for interrogation. Hang Bin Li quit his job in 2007 to take care of his newborn Baby Annie, but the 2 detectives made biased assumptions and wrote down on the police report that Mr. Li was unemployed (against his will) so he took it out on the infant, and that Ying Li lacked the skills to take care of her newborn infant causing Baby Annie to be badly injured (MY TAKE: Baby Annie was their VERY FIRST child. How many NEW parents have expert skills in parenting when their first-born baby arrived?). Sing Tao Daily noted the detectives asked Mr. Li TWICE in the police report why he wasn't working in a job, but took care of Baby Annie full-time. In addition, the police subsequently went to the Li's home to search for evidence of child abuse. The police only brought in a one-page Consent to Search Form written in English without a Chinese translator to explain what the form was all about, or what the implications were by signing the form in a foreign language they did not understand. Ashley waved the Consent to Search Form that is marked as evidence in the courtroom, noting that Hang Bin Li printed his name twice instead of signing his name which indicated that Mr. Li lacked English language skills at that time to follow the instructions in English, let alone understood what the form (written in foreign language) was all about. Sing Tao Daily wrote: Ashley said the detectives should have obtained a search warrant from the court before they went to the Li's home, but the detectives did not do it.
Photo courtesy of Ming Pao Daily. John Phelan - NYPD detective Child Abuse Squad.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: defense attorney Cedric Ashley, Michael Chu and witness John Phelan - NYPD detective Child Abuse Squad.
Translations from Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily and Qiao Bao: Afternoon session of Day 2 was the big big highlight of the day. I expect MUCH MORE interesting testimony when the REAL genetics experts show up later in the trial. Dr. James T. Goodrich is a pediatric neurosurgeon by training. He was the primary doctor for Baby Annie when she was admitted to the hospital on Oct 23, 2007. Dr. Goodrich and his assistant came with presentation materials (images from CAT scan and CT scan) to be shown to the jurors on projection screen per Sing Tao Daily. The prosecution intentionally placed the projection screen directly facing the Judge's direction in the courtroom, so that audience in the galley (including the news reporters, and dozens of Li family supporters could not see the images on the projection screen).
[Heard the following takeaways and underground comments from Day 2 of the trial] Dr. Goodrich testified in his capacity as a pediatric neurosurgeon but you will be amazed to learn that his answers UNDER OATH often hinted that he’s also an experts on MANY other types of medical fields. Maybe the American culture and society shower too much complement on neurosurgeons associating them with brainiacs that neurosurgeons in general REALLY REALLY think they’re the ?? omniscient ?? expert on ALL types of medical fields. Does Dr. Goodrich understand the term “medical consult” or is the term “medical consult” as “complex” as interpreting a DNA/genetics medical report?
Back to translations from NYC-Chinese newspapers: Dr. Goodrich began his work day at around 5 o’clock in the morning on Oct 23, 2007. At around 5:10am he performed a CAT scan on Baby Annie’s head and noted 4 major problems indicating internal injuries per Ming Pao Daily (Kudos to the reporter 吉希 Ji Xi at Ming Pao Daily for consistently excellent coverage of this case).
1) The right side of the skull above the right ear showed fractures
2) Bleeding in the brain due to trauma - (medical term: subdural hematoma)
3) The right side of the brain was swelling profusely – (medical term: edema)
4) The mid-line that segregated the right and left sides of the brain shifted the brain matters to the left side of the brain
Dr. Goodrich subsequently did CT scan on Baby Annie. Generally the grey and white matters of the brain would be seen in the CT imaging, but due to severe bleeding in the brain of Baby Annie, the grey and white matters could not be distinguished.
Based on the CAT scan and CT scan methods above, Dr. Goodrich believed Baby Annie suffered severe injuries comparable to injuries resulting from falling from high-rise building, car crash, or beating by baseball bat. Dr. Goodrich said Baby Annie’s injuries were one of the most serious injuries he has ever seen in his 32 years of medical practice. Dr. Goodrich believes even if Annie’s head was bumped against the headboard of the bed, the injuries wouldn’t be so serious. So he believes Baby Annie was shaken violently.
Dr. Goodrich further stated that he does NOT believe Baby Annie had Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) based on some eyeball observations he performed on Annie. (MY TAKE: this is the renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Goodrich using his casual eyeball observations to determine if somebody has genetic defects or not. Why? Because neurosurgeons are brainiacs, they don’t require advanced DNA testings to determine gene mutations. His neurosurgeon “brianiac” brain is far more superior than the DNA/genetics testing machines. Wait for Dr. Goodrich’s “simpleton” reasoning on why he is so confident that Baby Annie did not have Osteogenesis Imperfecta genetic defect) Dr. Goodrich said the skull fractures on Baby Annie were clean-cut, not shaped like broken pieces of glasses. (MY TAKE: Dr. Goodrich suddenly wore the hat of genetics expert) He believes ALL patients with OI MUST exhibit bone fractures that shaped like broken pieces of glasses (the correct answer: Dr. Goodrich is wrong!). He further stated that if Baby Annie had OI condition, when her father performed CPR on her with pressure on her chest bones, Dr. Goodrich would have found fresh bone fracture injuries. However, Dr. Goodrich noted the chest bone fractures were old, healing bone fractures in Annie.
Finally, Ashley cross-examined Dr. Goodrich. He quizzed Dr. Goodrich on how many major types of OI are out there? How many sub-sets within each major types of OI are out there? In his 32 years of medical practice, how many OI patients he had ever treated? Of those OI patients, how many of them were of Asian descent? (MY TAKE: Suddenly Dr. Goodrich threw out the hat of genetics expert) Dr. Goodrich conceded that he is not an expert on OI, that he is a neurosurgeon. When Ashley continued to press him to answer how many major types of OI are out there. Dr. Goodrich reluctantly answered, “Should be four types”. (MY TAKE: Oh no! The neurosurgeon brainiac myth is busted. The current medical research on OI shows MORE THAN 4 major types of OI) When Ashley pressed him to answer how many OI patients he had ever treated in his 32 years of medical practice, Dr. Goodrich replied, “about a dozen OI patient (out of his 32 years of medical practice)“. A dozen OI patients = 12 patients, more or less.
Ashley kept quizzing Dr. Goodrich, forcing Dr. Goodrich to acknowledge that he did NOT examine the eyes of Baby Annie for signs of blue tint in the “white” part of the eyes which is a symptom to look for in OI patients. (MY TAKE: how shocking for the “omniscient” neurosurgeon to be so sloppy, he’s supposed to be “all-knowing” about genetics even though it is not his field of expertise. Neurosurgeon “brainiac” brain is supposed to trump ALL fields of medicine)
1) OI is often not detected in newborn babies.
2) Some OI patients never exhibit symptoms.
3) OI not only affects the bones, but it affects connective tissues, blood vessels, body organs, loss of hearing (due to the ear structures made up of bones), difficulties breathing (due to damages in the blood vessels blocking the airways), heart problems, etc.
Ashley further pressed on Dr. Goodrich to read the genetics testing results of Baby Annie’s remains done in Summer 2012. (MY TAKE: this time Dr. Goodrich not only threw out his hat as a “pseudo-geneticist“, he threw out his hat as a medical doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) With the help of Ashley reading and spelling the letters and numbers in the genetics results, Dr. Goodrich conceded that the DNA/genetics results were TOO COMPLEX for his medical brain (WOW!). He could not interpret the DNA/genetics results at all. (MY TAKE: But Dr. Goodrich was soooo confident that Baby Annie did not have OI genetic defect based on his “casual eyeball observation“. How could his neurosurgeon “brainiac” brain be wrong about the DNA/genetics fields that are so beneath his neurosurgeon’s more superior brain and IQ?)
Ashley then bombarded Dr. Goodrich with a bunch of statements and rhetorical questions. Are you a medical doctor? You made this medical report 7 months ago (MY TAKE: I doubt that Dr. Goodrich made the medical report himself, it was probably done by his medical intern or medical student, and he only signed the medical report afterward) Did you know the baby died?
Did you know your “simple” or “simpleton” (uncertain of the translation from Ming Pao Daily) assumptions about medical theories could destroy another person’s life forever?
How could you say the medical report is too complex?
You are a medical doctor for 32 years but you don’t know how to read this medical report you prepared 7 months ago?
Per Ming Pao Daily, Dr. Goodrich looked embarrassed (see his photos below as proof) when Ashley raised the 3 questions that his “simpleton” assumptions about medical theories could destroy another person’s life forever, and about his inability to read a medical report eventhough he is a medical doctor in practice for 32 years.
Ashley pressed on further:
You have multiple medical degrees, doctor in philosophy degree, 170-page of curriculum vitae and medical credentials, but you don’t know how to read and interpret the results of this medical report?
Photo courtesy of Qiao Bao Daily. Notice Dr. James T. Goodrich’s face and neck were totally RED in this photo after a ROUGH day being cross-examined by defense attorney Cedric Ashley. Next to him was an unidentified female assistant who did not wish to be photographed. This female assistant in the photo personally witnessed Dr. Goodrich being humiliated in the courtroom during cross-examination. This photo was taken right after Dr. Goodrich finished his court testimony but before he waited for the elevator with prosecutor Leigh Bishop below.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: witness Dr. James T. Goodrich and prosecutor Leigh Bishop. Notice the clock on the upper left hand corner pointing to 5 minutes after 5 o’clock in the evening. It wasn’t the prosecution day today. Notice Dr. Goodrich’s face and neck looked visibly RED from embarrassment. Notice prosecutor Leigh Bishop looked pensive while waiting for the elevator.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: Mrs. Michael Chu, defense attorney Cedric Ashley, and Michael Chu. From their smiling faces by the late morning/early afternoon, you can tell today was a good day for the defense.
1) Morning session of the trial, opening statements by prosecutor Leigh Bishop and defense attorney Cedric Ashley.
2) Afternoon session of the trial, the 1st prosecution witness: Dong Yong Li is a friend of the Li family. He was also the godfather of Baby Annie. He was present on the day Baby Annie became ill.
3) Afternoon session of the trial, the 2nd prosecution witness: Antoine Jones is an EMS first responder. He responded to the 911 medical emergency call for Baby Annie.
See NY Times coverage of the first day of trial by reporters Corey Kilgannon and Jeffrey E. Singer. The Chinese newspapers Ming Pao Daily, Chinese World Journal and Sing Tao Daily generally provide more detailed reporting on this case, the Chinese news coverages are translated below. Incidentally, the NY Post reported that actress Katie Holmes made brief appearance at the trial. My guess is that prosecutor Leigh Bishop knows she is dealing with a rather weak case prosecuting Hang Bin Li given the genetic brittle bone disorder in the deceased infant, so she needed a celebrity friend Katie Holmes to distract people from the hard genetics facts of the case. Leigh Bishop’s judgement was criticized by Judge Gregory Lasak in a separate case in Sept 2012 where she offered an exceptionally lenient plea deal to a defendant for murder (with prior conviction and violation of parole) even though there were NO extenuating circumstances like genetic defects in the homicide case.
Day 1 of the trial. Skipping opening statements because it’s been covered by the NY Times already. Moving directly to Witness #1: Dong Yong Li’s testimony. As stated in my original blog, Dong Yong Li fled out of New York shortly after the arrest of Hang Bin Li and Ying Li in March 2008. He had some immigration issues with the US law enforcement. I’m told Dong Yong Li was afraid of deportation because he was an undocumented immigrant. He is currently working as a sushi chef in Toronto, Canada. As noted by Michael Chu, the prosecution took a lot of trouble locating Dong Yong Li and then to make sure he could gain entry into the US border to testify for this trial. Dong Yong Li appeared to be escorted to and from the courtroom by a police detective with a badge (see photo below, the detective wore brown leather jacket). A normal witness does not get this type of “bodyguard” unless he/she is a ”person of interest” to law enforcement.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. From l to r: 2nd witness EMS worker Antoine Jones, defense attorney Cedric Ashley, prosecutor Leigh Bishop, 1st witness Dong Yong Li, and an unidentified police detective (see his police badge around his neck) who appeared to be escorting Dong Yong Li to and from court.
Translation from Ming Pao Daily, Chinese World Journal and Sing Tao Daily:: Witness Dong Yong Li (hereafter: “Dong”) has known the Li couple since childhood. The three of them went to the same elementary school in China. Dong was the godfather of Baby Annie. Small tidbit: the original court-appointed Chinese translator received complaints that the Chinese-to-English translations of the witness testimony were made “too loosely”. So another Chinese translator was summoned to replace the original translator.
On the morning of Oct 22, 2007, Hang Bin Li phoned Dong to say that Baby Annie was not feeling well. Hang Bin asked if Dong had money on him, because he urgently needed money to take Baby Annie to see the doctor. Dong was in Chinatown (in Manhattan) when he received the phone call. He arrived at the Li’s home in Flushing, Queens in the afternoon. Dong noted that Baby Annie looked pale, her eyes closed, no visible signs of external injuries to her head. Dong touched Baby Annie’s forehead for fever, but her temperature had dropped already. Ying Li used a towel to wash Annie’s face and hands, she also placed a thermometer behind Annie’s ears to test her body temperature which was confirmed to be normal. Dong asked Hang Bin Li if they should take Annie to the hospital. Hang Bin replied that since Annie’s temperature was back to normal, her fever was gone, so he planned to take her to the doctor the next day instead.
Between 8:00pm to midnight on Oct 22, 2007, Dong heard the first faint sound Annie made. He saw Hang Bin Li and Ying Li mixing bottles for milk and water for Annie. Dong could not see if Annie was eating normally. Then Hang Bin Li, Ying Li and Annie all slept in a big bed. Dong slept on a small bed in the same room.
At around 1:00am on Oct 23, 2007, Dong was awaken by Hang Bin Li yelling “Ni Ni” (Ni Ni is the nickname of Annie). Hang Bin Li stood between the 2 beds and embraced Annie. Dong noticed that Annie’s face turned grey. Hang Bin Li and Ying Li urgently yelled, “Ni Ni wake up quickly, mom and dad are bringing you to play outside”. But Annie was not responsive. Hang Bin Li urgently told Dong to knock on the next room to notify his landlord Helen Meizhen Zhou (“Mrs. Zhou”). Mrs. Zhou followed Dong to the room to call 911. Dong saw Hang Bin Li used his hand to open up Annie’s mouth to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But Dong did not see Hang Bin Li using his hands to press on the baby’s chest. Dong did not get on the ambulance to the hospital. But Hang Bin Li had phoned him about Annie’s condition. Hang Bin told Dong on the phone, “Before Annie was rescued, she did not have heartbeat and she could not breathe. Thankfully, she has been rescued”.
Dong said one month before the incidence, he went to the Li’s home to babysit his god-daughter Annie. Prosecutor Leigh Bishop uses this statement as “evidence” that the Li couple were neglectful parents, leaving the 1-month-old baby to the hands of her godfather. [NOTE: all 3 adults (Hang Bin Li, Ying Li and Dong) were undocumented immigrants from China, their own elderly parents and relatives did NOT live in America to take care of the infant]
At cross-examination, Cedric Ashley asked if Dong had ever seen the Li couple violently shaking or bumping Annie’s head. Dong replied “No” to both scenarios.
Photo courtesy of Sing Tao Daily. Dozens of supporters of the Li family car-pooled to the trial from Flushing, Queens.
Second witness Antoine Jones was called. Antoine Jones was the EMS first responder who arrived at the scene. Jones received radio call at around 1:00am on Oct 23, 2007, he arrived at the scene within 4 minutes. Jones noticed Annie’s face looked ashen grey, she could not breathe on her own, she did not have a pulse, her pupils dilated. During the 5 minute ambulance ride to Flushing Hospital, Jones gave CPR to Annie. Jones stated that he gave Annie the special Infant CPR, using 2 fingers to press on the infant’s chest near the heart and giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the same time. Jones stated that Annie was still unconscious by the time she arrived at the ER in the hospital. Jones recalled that the parents (Hang Bin Li and Ying Li) were highly cooperative to rescue their child. Jones stated that he did not notice any external injuries on Annie. Per Ming Pao Daily and Chinese World Journal, the prosecution re-played the 911 phone call, one could hear crying and sobbing in the background of the 911 phone call. A woman speaking in accented English stated the address and telephone number to the 911 operator. When Jones arrived at the scene, he recalled that a woman spoke to him in accented English, “She is not breathing”. This woman must be the landlord Mrs. Zhou who was the only person at the scene who could speak some English to the EMS first responder.
Photo courtesy of Chinese World Journal. Notice witness Dong Yong Li (l) was accompanied by an unidentified police detective (r) in brown leather jacket. In the photo provided by Sing Tao above, the detective had his police badge displayed as they were leaving the courtroom. There is a special reason the detective was escorting Dong Yong Li.