Jury Deliberations Continue in Baby's Death

By Julie Carey
|  Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013  |  Updated 6:49 PM EDT
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Jury Deliberations Continue in Baby's Death

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A Fairfax County jury will need at least one more day to decide the fate of a young Fairfax County father accused of abusing his twin daughters, causing the death of one.

After closing arguments concluded Wednesday, jurors deliberated for four hours without reaching a verdict in the child abuse trial of David Thatcher.

Thatcher took the stand in his own defense earlier in the week. He told jurors he only confessed to police so they would let his relatives visit his surviving daughter who was alone in Inova Fairfax Hospital.

It was June 7, 2012 when 6-week-old Thalia Thatcher was rushed to Inova Fairfax Hospital and died. Two days later her twin, Myana, was admitted in serious condition.

She survived, and eight months later was returned to the custody of her mother, Thatcher's live-in girlfriend. While their mother primarily cared for the girls, testimony showed police focused their investigation on David Thatcher.

Just a few days after Thalia died, police videotaped an interview with Thatcher in which he confessed to hurting the baby girls, admitting to dropping and squeezing one baby.

Wednesday, jurors asked to re-watch a portion of the videotaped confession.

On the stand Monday, Thatcher recanted,  saying he only confessed so relatives could see Myana and because, "Police might go easier on me." When asked by his attorney if he did anything to hurt or injure the babies, Thatcher replied, "No."

Doctors who have testified gave conflicting information about what killed one baby and injured the other.

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.

Deliberations resume at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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