Short falls

In the early hours of May the 30th 1997, Tasha heard a thump coming from Little Bryan’s bedroom. She found him on the floor by his bed seizing and unconscious. 

Tasha has, for the entirety of the 25 years she has been incarcerated, remained constant in her story that she heard little Bryan fall from his bed.

At the time of the trial, the majority of scientific opinion considered that deaths caused by falls from the height of little Bryan’s bed were impossible.

Little Bryan’s bedroom

However, scientific understanding has since changed, based on experiments and recorded accounts of children dying from short falls, and science now holds that children can die as a result of short falls.

Q. Dr. Riddick, going on what you testified today, why have you changed your opinion about whether short falls can cause life threatening injuries in small children?

A. Because they have been documented by videotapes, by mutliple witnesses who are credible by second parties other than the caretaker, that this can happen. its rae, but it does happen. And everybody that studies it says, yes, it is uncommon but it does occur.

– Dr Riddick testifying in Tasha’s Post Conviction Relief hearing (2018)

Dr Monson, a biomechanical engineer called to testify in Tasha’s PCR hearing, stated that, based on the height of little Bryan and the bed, it is possible that if he were standing on the bed and fell off without being able to protect his head, the fall could have caused his fatal head injuries.

Dr Riddick agreed with Dr Monson and felt that the short fall played one part of the cascade of events (short fall, seizure, and breathing difficulties) that resulted in little Bryan’s death.

Q. You mentioned a triad of injuries. Can this triad of injuries, cerebral edema, subdural hematoma and retinal hemorrhaging, can that have, those injuries, the triad, have causes other than abuse?

A. Yes.

Q. Can a lack of oxygen cause any of these symptoms?

A. It can certainly cause swelling of the brain.

Q. Can seizures cause any of these symptoms?

A. Yes.

Q. And can a short fall cause any of these symptoms?

A. Yes.

– Dr Riddick testifying in Tasha’s Post Conviction Relief hearing (2018)

read more of the evidence proving tasha’s innocence: