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Catlin Briscoe found guilty on lesser charge

After more than five hours of deliberations, a Wichita County jury has found Catlin Briscoe guilty of reckless injury to a child.

Four years ago, Briscoe was charged in the murder of 19-month-old Ava Shoffit by blunt force trauma, while he was babysitting her. However, the jury on Wednesday found him guilty of reckless injury to a child. There was a special provision and the jury decided he used a deadly weapon.

During closing arguments, the defense called the testimony by the state's doctors contradictory. They said the fact there was no blood over the toddler's skull fracture showed it was an old injury, not a recent one as the state claimed.

They told jurors there was a rush to judgment by authorities, who decided Briscoe was guilty of murder, even though the evidence did not support the charge.

The state asked jurors if they were going to listen to the doctors who tried to save Ava or expert witnesses paid by the defense. Prosecutors said all the medical personnel agreed Ava suffered a recent fracture caused by blunt force trauma. They pointed out Briscoe was the only person alone with Ava for two hours before she became unresponsive.

They also pointed out his comment to police saying, "I messed up."


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