WATERLOO — An infant who died in a 2017 crash suffered head injuries, according to a medical examiner.
Dr. Marcus Nashelsky said he found a bruise on the side of 7-month-old Liam Mwanje’s forehead that corresponded with a skull fracture in that area. He also found two other fractures, one to each side of his skull. The baby had minor abrasions to his left arm and right hip.
“The cause of death for Liam Mwanje was blunt force injury of the head,” Nashelsky said Friday as trial continued for Derrick Earl Johnson. He said the wounds were consistent with a violent automobile crash.
Johnson, 37, is charged with homicide by vehicle, and testimony in his trial started Wednesday. Prosecutors allege Johnson was intoxicated — blood tests found alcohol and cocaine — and going 55 mph in a 25 mph zone when his pickup truck ran a stop sign and collided with a mini-van driven by Liam’s babysitter.
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The defense disputes Derrick Johnson was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Also on Friday, jurors saw body camera footage of police discussions with Derrick Johnson in which Johnson admitted he knew he had “stuff” in his system.
According to testimony, Derrick Johnson and a female acquaintance had been arguing shortly before the collision, and she had been following his pickup truck. Police said they reviewed his cell phone records but were unable to find any evidence he had been texting or talking leading up to the crash.
Officer Thomas Frein said the woman had sent Johsnon a large number of calls in a short time through the Facebook social media platform, but it didn’t show he answered any of the calls.