Alexander Stolte, 19, returned to court Tuesday to argue in front of a judge that he should be released on bail pending the outcome of his murder case. The teenager from Chelsea is accused of beating 1-year-old Kyleigh McDaniel to death while he was babysitting her on St. Patrick's Day.
"Kyleigh had multiple contusions on the front and back of her head; underneath she had multiple skull fractures. There was bleeding around her head," said Dr. David Shapiro, the Vermont medical examiner.
"There was only one person who was in that building with Kyleigh when she sustained these injuries, and the evidence clearly establishes it was Mr. Stolte," Orange County Prosecutor Will Porter said.
Stolte admits he was watching his girlfriend's daughter alone at his home on Brook Road the night she died. He reportedly told investigators Kyleigh was fine that night; she wasn't fussy and was eating normally and playing with toys and crawling around as he played on the computer, including talking to the baby's grandmother on the social networking site Facebook.
"Each time he told me there was nothing wrong with her or nothing he knew of that would have caused her injury," Vt. State Police Sgt. Mike O'Neil said.
"These are massive injuries that don't happen with minor trauma that lots of kids have," Shapiro said.
While the prosecution is pointing the finger at Stolte, Stolte's lawyer Dan Sedon argued police have the wrong guy, claiming they used tunnel vision in their investigation because he seems the most obvious.
"They did not present evidence that linked Mr. Stolte to any of these baby's injuries, so it is at this point a circumstantial case," Sedon said.
Kyleigh's crib was in the finished basement which has a door to the outside and Stolte's lawyers want police to investigate whether someone broke into the home and murdered the baby. The defense also points out the baby's mother was home for most of the day before leaving for work late in the afternoon and Stolte's mother was also there for an hour.
"The state did not present any evidence from other people who were in the home that day who had direct contact to the baby," Sedon said.
In the end, the judge said he will issue a written statement on whether he feels Stolte should be released on bail.
No new information was released Tuesday about previous reports that doctors found Kyleigh had suffered broken ribs that went untreated. Both prosecutors and Stolte's lawyer declined comment, saying that is part of the ongoing investigation in the case. But the medical examiner revealed Tuesday that he also found contusions on most of the little girl's body, along with a broken arm and a broken leg. He did not suggest when the baby sustained those injuries.
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