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Child abuse charges dropped
Kitsap County prosecutors have dropped first-degree child abuse charges against a 27-year-old Bremerton man.
David Shane Franklin Weatherly was arrested and charged back in February after a 2-year-old boy, who had been under he and his wife’s care, was treated for blunt force trauma injuries, bruising on his face, a lighter burn mark on his arm along with scratches and internal injuries.
The child, after vomiting continuously the next morning, was taken back to the hospital by his mother and eventually transported to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma to be treated for stomach and liver damage.
Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge stood by his office’s decision to bring charges and lamented a ruling that excluded a statement made by the child to the head nurse at Harrison Hospital that, “Shane did that,” while pointing to his own tummy.
“The evidence, really, that we have that the defendant did it is a statement from the child saying, ‘Shane did this.’ But that statement has been ruled inadmissible,” Hauge said, noting that a defense attorney could easily sow seeds of reasonable doubt amongst a jury about Weatherly, his wife, or the child’s mother, who all had access to the boy over an extended period of time, actually committed the abuse.
“I don’t think the medical evidence would suggest anything other than blunt force trauma related to abuse,” Hauge said. “The question is, who is the abuser?”