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Published: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 7:02 AM
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 5:04 PM
DAYTON — A Montgomery County deputy coroner was the first state’s witness on Monday in the criminal trial for a Dayton minister and his wife accused in the death of their 2-year-old foster son.
During opening statements, an assistant prosecutor told jurors foster parents Torace and Shureka Weaver should be convicted of the charges filed against them because of the evidence, which indicates Thomas suffered a fractured skull, scars and a large burn.
Weaver “failed to protect a toddler,” the assistant prosecutor, Kelly Madzey, told the Common Pleas jury.
Defense attorney Anthony Van Noy, in his opening statement, called the tragedy an accident.
Van Noy admitted to the jury that Weaver’s story to investigators — that the child fell off a table — was false.
Van Noy told the jury the evidence will show that the child died after he slipped from his foster father’s grasp as the two were playing “Superman.” Weaver lost his balance and the child smashed his head against a wall at the church, the attorney said.
The Weavers are being tried together. Testimony is to resume Tuesday.
Opening arguments are expected this afternoon in the trial of Torace and Shureka Weaver, who have been charged after the Nov. 18, 2015 death of Stanley Karl Thomas III, who died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Torace Weaver, 38, was indicted on counts of murder, reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, endangering children and obstructing official business.
Shureka Weaver, 40, was indicted on one count of endangering children, a third-degree felony.
Shureka Weaver’s count relates to evidence of first- and second-degree burns on Thomas’ body that should have resulted in medical attention but did not, according to court documents.
The couple was licensed to be foster parents in August 2015. The boy’s death was ruled a homicide in March 2016.
On Nov. 18, 2015, emergency first responders were called to King of Glory Church, 5001 Genesee Ave., in Dayton, where Weaver was pastor, on a report of a toddler not breathing. The child was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A trial for a former Dayton pastor and his wife who are accused in the murder of their 2-year-old foster son is scheduled to start today in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, according to court documents.
Weaver was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in August. His wife was indicted in November on charges related to Thomas’ death.
Thomas died on November 18, 2015 of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. His death was ruled a homicide in March 2016.
Eight days before Stanley’s death, Weaver called Dayton police to report his biological son had run away again. A police report said, “Weaver could not provide an answer as to why he waited until (Nov. 10)” to report the boy missing.