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Hagerstown man found guilty in abuse of 8-month-old

Clyde Eugene Gatrell III was indicted on charges of causing fractures, bruising and burns to baby

July 19, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown man indicted on charges of causing fractures, bruising and burns to an 8-month-old boy was found guilty of three of 13 counts in a verdict announced Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Judge Donald E. Beachley found Clyde Eugene Gatrell III, 20, formerly of Noland Drive, guilty of two counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree child abuse.

Gatrell had a trial before Beachley on June 30.

Beachley had previously granted a defense motion for judgment of acquittal on two counts of first-degree child abuse.

On Tuesday, the judge found Gatrell not guilty of two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of contributing to the condition of a child, another second-degree assault charge and two other second-degree child abuse charges, according to court records.

A Washington County grand jury indicted Gatrell in December on allegations that he had caused injuries to Brayden Embly on or before Sept. 20, 2010, court records said.

Beachley found Gatrell guilty of causing fractures to the boy's legs and burns to his lips and abdomen, but not to the fractures the baby sustained to his arms, because medical testimony at the trial indicated those could have been inflicted when the child was not in Gatrell's care.

"I frankly, do not find the defendant's testimony credible," regarding the child's second-degree burns, which were apparently caused by a bottle of formula which was too hot, Beachley said.

The judge said he believed Gatrell was frustrated dealing with the crying infant and prepared him a bottle which he knew, or should have known, was too hot.

Gatrell had been staying at the home of Brayden's mother, Jennifer Embly, for about six weeks prior to the injuries being discovered, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said.

Gatrell, who could face 25 years in prison, will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence report.

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