Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Doctor lists girl's injuries

By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

There were bruises, scrapes, cuts and a hemorrhage in the tongue where she bit down. Worst of all was an injury from her forehead to the middle of her head that caused her brain to swell.

One-year-old Mikinah Smith could never have survived the assault, Dr. Robert Pfalzgraf of the Hamilton County Coroner's Office testified Monday during a murder trial in which Mikinah's foster father is accused of shaking her to death.

Sikinah Thomas, Mikinah's mother, sobbed as Pfalzgraf read the list of injures.

County social workers took Mikinah, her twin brother and four other children from her and placed them first with one foster family and then with Norman and Robin White about 60 days before Mikinah died.

Norman White faces life in prison on charges of special felony murder and felonious assault if convicted in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Mikinah died March 18 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, just one day after she and her twin, Michael Smith, had their first birthday.

White, 37, was home alone three days earlier with the twins and became frustrated with Mikinah's cries, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. Robin White was out of town.

White's attorney, William R. Gallagher, doesn't dispute how Mikinah died or that White caused her death. But, he said a lesser charge of manslaughter is more appropriate because White didn't mean to harm the baby.


E-mail scoolidge@enquirer.com

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