Fairfax County Man Convicted of Abusing Infant Twins

One baby died June 7, 2012; her twin was injured

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Northern Virginia Bureau chief Julie Carey reports on the trial of David Thatcher whose accused of child abuse in the death of a daughter.

    A young Fairfax County father has been found guilty of abusing his six-week-old twin daughters, one of whom died.

    David Thather was found guilty on two counts of child abuse Thursday.

    Jurors have recommended a four-year sentence.

    Prosecutors say Thather caused fatal blunt force trauma to his 6-week-old daughter Thalia last year and injured her twin, charges Thatcher initially admitted to but then retracted.

    On June 7, 2012, Thalia Thatcher was rushed to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she died. Two days later, her twin, Myana, was admitted in serious condition.

    A few days later, police videotaped an interview with Thatcher in which he confessed to hurting the babies, and admitted to dropping and squeezing one baby.

    But during his trial, Thatcher told jurors that he only confessed to police so they would let his relatives visit Myana, who was alone in the hospital. When asked by his attorney if he did anything to hurt or injure the babies, Thatcher said no.

    On Wednesday, jurors asked to re-watch a portion of the videotaped confession. They deliberated for four hours after closing arguments that day and returned a verdict Thursday afternoon.

    Doctors who testified gave conflicting information about what killed Thalia and injured Myana.

    The medical examiner testified there was evidence of blunt force trauma, but a doctor for the defense said both babies had encephalitis, something he said could cause brain hemorrhaging. 

    "The prosecutor's' doctors can't even agree. How can that not be a reasonable doubt?" Thatcher's defense attorney, Dawn Butorac, said in her closing argument.

    Thatcher will be sentenced Dec. 13.