Marsha Byers Mills has been in the news all over Ohio. She was babysitting a long-time friend’s children in March 2006, when one child fell down the stairs onto cement. Ms. Mills put a wet cloth on his head, called the father to tell him of the accident, and thought the child would wake up.
The father called 911 and when he arrived, the rescue workers tried to revive the boy. He was transported to Union Hospital in Dover, then life-flighted to Akron Children’s, where he was pronounced dead a day later.
Needless to say, this was a tragic accident, yet because of Dr. Daryl Steiner and others ["Guilty Until Proven Innocent
," April 18], Ms. Mills was sent to Marysville Prison, where she is housed with convicted murderers.
Many believe Ms Mills is innocent, yet certain measures conspired against her since the accident.
The child’s parents wrote a letter to a local paper, calling her a murderer and tainting the local jury pool. Several firefighters, only hours after transporting the child, were telling people all over the county that this was shaken baby syndrome. They are not physicians yet they had the audacity to proclaim this to all.
The police never interviewed the 4 year old brother nor the other 3 year old child about the fall down the stairs. They only questioned Marsha, who explained that as she shut the back door and turned around, Noah was already on the cement.
The prosecution used this against her because she said several times that the boy fell, but she was so shaken she didn’t know if he'd fallen from the first, second, third or fourth step. The prosecution stated she wavered in her testimony.
During her trial two months ago, Dr. Daryl Steiner ruled this accident a murder. He is known around the state for calling every accident involving a child murder. He is ruining people and family’s lives with his verdicts. Trials are being reviewed because of this.
Marsha Mills’s public defense team brought in a biomechanical engineer who has worked to recreate fatal accidents for the NTSB, CDC, car, motorcycle and playground equipment. In his recreations of the accident -- using dolls with sensitive electrodes in their heads -- the engineer showed that in over 70% of the time, the fall could create enough force to cause severe or fatal injuries to a child. By merely shaking the dolls, this engineer could only once create enough force to cause severe injury or death.
Yet the jury disregarded what an intelligent person could only surmise from all this evidence -- that it was an accident. The jury included two people who worked with the child’s mother at Timken in Canton. Others others on the jury didn't reveal that they knew the family.
There has been a severe injustice for Marsha, who is living in terror among murderers and being treated as one. Her sentence is 15 years to life for a crime that she did not commit. Those who know Marsha are begging for help.
Our only hope is that the appeals court will set things right. If you are interested in correcting an injustice by Dr. Daryl Steiner, write about your experiences with Dr. Daryl Steiner.