UPDATE: Graphic details emerge in Corbett trial

Justin Corbett, of Dover

Day three of the trial of Justin Corbett brought to light new, graphic details of the injuries allegedly sustained by Evan Dudley on the night prosecutors say he was physically abused by Corbett.

Among the the witnesses the prosecution called to stand Wednesday, doctors who helped care for Dudley. They shed light on the wounds that apparently led to his death. Among them, severe bleeding between the brain and skull, a lung contusion and injuries to his organs. One of the doctors, who saw Evan at A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, said that Evan was deemed braindead. She also suggested that through her examination that it was a result of child abuse. The defense was quick to respond, asking her how she can be sure if she wasn’t at the scene that night. The doctor said even though she wasn’t at the scene, a team of hospital personnel referred to as a ‘care team’, supported the claim that the injuries were not typical of a fall down eight carpeted steps.

A main point from day two resurfaced when the lead investigator was called to the stand. The Delaware State Police detective handling the case said when interviewing the first responders, no one brought up the suggestion made by Corbett that Dudley had fallen backwards down the stairs.

The defense also brought up the investigation of the case. The lead investigator was questioned as to why it was pursed as a child abuse case to begin with. The investigator said that was due to the suggestion made by the doctor at A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital.

Following a court lunch break, the prosecution called on a state medical examiner, who conducted Evan’s autopsy. Then, graphic photos showing his brain and external bruising were presented to the jury. The medical examiner said that the injuries were a result of child abuse. The defense then argued that the external bruising could’ve been caused by first responders. To that, the medical examiner disagreed.

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A day after opening statements, the prosecution called seven witnesses to the stand.

Tuesday began with Corbett’s wife, Aubrey, being called by state prosecutors. They questioned her about the day in 2012, when they allege that Justin physically abused and seriously injured 21-month-old Evan Dudley. Aubrey said that prior to Evan falling down stairs, which is how the defense says he sustained the injuries that led to his death, no more than a few “little-boy bruises” were present on his body. That day, she said she was out with friends and not present during the alleged incident.

Following Aubrey Corbett’s testimony, four Dover Air Force Base first responders, who responded to the 911 call ,were questioned about how they went about trying to save Evan. This after the defense suggested in their opening statements that Dudley sustained some of the bruising from revival efforts. One of the responders said they were gentle with Evan and another said they noticed bruising already present on Evan’s forehead when they arrived.

Also on the stand, a Delaware State Trooper who recalled that on the night he arrived on scene, he heard Justin Corbett tell a first responder that Evan Dudley fell “backwards” down the stars. Something that was not brought up in court until Tuesday. 

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The opening statements, both for and against former Dover Air Force Base airman, Justin Corbett, were made Monday morning inside a Kent County courtroom. Prosecutors allege Corbett murdered Evan Dudley, the 21-month-old son of his then deployed friend Nicole Dudley.

In their opening statements to the jury, state prosecutors say it was at the hands of Justin Corbett that toddler Evan Dudley lost his life back on the afternoon of November 3rd, 2012.

Corbett and his wife were two of the people Nicole Dudley asked watch over her son while she was deployed in Qatar. Prosecutors said Evan eventually suffered a detached retina, bleeding inside of his skull and a number of bruises. Authorities say those injuries led to his death.

When the defense addressed the jury, they said that Dudley had fallen down a flight of stairs and that it was an accident. As the trial began, the prosecution called six people to the stand, including Evan’s mother, Nicole. All six either supervised or cared for Evan leading up to his death and all six said he was in perfect health before he was given to Corbett. On Tuesday, the prosecution is set to call nine more witnesses.

A court clerk tells 47 ABC that the trial is scheduled for two weeks. However, it’s possible it wraps up before then. 

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A date has reportedly been set for opening statements in the trial of a man accused in the death of a 21-month-old boy.

According to authorities, Former Dover Force Base Airman Justin Corbett’s trial will continue on Monday, July 18 with opening statements. He is charged with first degree murder by abuse or neglect, and for recklessly causing the death of a child.

Corbett was reportedly caring for a child in November 2012 while the child’s mother, a fellow Dover Air Force Base airman, was deployed.

Police say while Corbett was watching the child, he called 9-1-1 to report that the 21-month-old was unresponsive after falling downstairs. The boy ended up dying at a local hospital.

Jury selection began Tuesday in the case.

Categories: Delaware, Local News