A Harford Circuit Court jury deliberated five hours before convicting a 21-year-old Aberdeen man of second-degree murder in the death of a 16-month-old child in his care last Sept. 29.
William Elmarco Dixon, the live-in companion of the dead child's mother, will be sentenced Oct. 25 by Judge William O. Carr, who ordered a presentence investigation after the verdict was read.
The child's mother, Trolfia Domingue; grandmother, Marilyn Domingue; and great-grandmother, Constance Costin, testified as character witnesses for Dixon during the nine-day trial, which did not conclude until nearly midnight Friday.
Dixon contended that the toddler, Chavez Domingue, had fallen down the stairs at the home in the 400 block of Battery Drive in Battery Village.
The jury chose to believe Dr. Donald Wright, deputy state medical examiner, who testified that the boy died from "blunt-force blows" to the abdomen.
Those blows, said Dr. Wright, caused a laceration of the liver and severe bruising to other internal organs. That subsequent internal bleeding caused the child to lose about one-third of his blood, the doctor said.
Assistant State's Attorney William G. Christoforo told the jury in his closing statement that no one wanted to believe that Dixon could murder the child, but that it had happened as Dr. Wright said it did.
Michele Nowak, a public defender representing the defendant, had argued that her client could not have killed the child, who called him "Daddy."