Court for Montgomery County Case No. 00000128132CR
Deborah S., Kehoe, Wilner, Alan M. (Senior Judge, Specially
was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Montgomery
County of the second-degree murder of his infant son, Amir,
along with three counts of child abuse, for which he was
sentenced to 40 years imprisonment. He complains in this
(1)the instructions given to the jury on second-degree murder
(2)the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain the
(3)the court erred in admitting a statement by the
child's mother that, when appellant learned that she was
pregnant, he wanted her to have an abortion; and
(4)after admitting in evidence testimony regarding part of a
statement appellant gave to the police, the court erred in
not allowing the introduction of the rest of the statement.
Finding no reversible error, we shall affirm the Circuit
was born on December 14, 2013. Appellant was his father; Asli
Iman was his mother. The couple were not married and, until
Amir was born, did not live together. Although the pregnancy
was not planned, Ms. Iman was happy with it. When appellant
was informed, he told Ms. Iman that "[h]e did not want
me to have the baby. He wanted me to have an abortion, "
which she refused to do. The pregnancy was uneventful. Ms.
Iman received prenatal care, but the delivery was through a
C-section. Although appellant was present at the birth, Ms.
Iman said that he contributed nothing during her pregnancy
and "never bought a single item for the child at
all." About two weeks after Amir's birth, the family
moved in with appellant's mother. The mother used a
bedroom on the first floor of the house. Appellant, Ms. Iman,
and the baby used the two bedrooms on the second floor.
Iman returned to work three weeks after Amir's birth.
Appellant's mother also worked. Appellant, who neither
worked nor attended school, watched Amir during the day. Ms.
Iman usually left the house around 6:00 a.m. and returned
between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. Upon her return, she watched the
baby until she went to bed around 11:00. She would then wake
appellant to let him know that the baby was asleep. Ms. Iman
testified that the child was in perfect health and had been
seen by a pediatrician and a WIC unit.
the time the family was together, there were three disturbing
incidents involving appellant and Amir. On one occasion, Ms.
Iman placed Amir on a downstairs couch while she was folding
clothes. She went upstairs to get some more clothes, and,
when she returned, appellant acknowledged sitting on Amir,
saying he did not see him. The child was not injured. On a
second occasion, while on a bus with Amir, Ms. Iman prepared
to give him a bottle and noticed that his upper gum was
bruised. She texted appellant to inquire and was told that,
while sleeping, appellant had "elbowed" the baby.
the end of January, appellant awakened Ms. Iman and told her
that, while trying to give Amir a bath, he nearly dropped the
baby into the bathtub. Appellant said that, to break the
fall, he grabbed Amir by the head or face, with the
child's body dangling down, and acknowledged that he
"almost killed my son." During that episode, the
child's head hit a towel rack. Ms. Iman noticed that the
whole left side of Amir's face was bruised. She treated
the bruise with an ice pack and a day or two later took him
to a health care center where he was examined by a nurse and
events leading to this case occurred on the evening of
February 3-4, 2014, when Amir was seven weeks old. After
returning home from work, Ms. Iman fed Amir, gave him a bath,
and held him while watching television until 11:00, when she
put him in his basinet and informed appellant that she was
going to bed. Ms. Iman said that Amir was fine at that time -
he was eating and fell asleep as usual.
2:00 a.m., appellant awakened her. She went to Amir, saw that
he was "lifeless, " had blood coming out of his
nose, and picked him up. She then noticed that he had on only
a diaper and one sock, which were not the clothes she had put
him to bed with. His lips were so blue that she put him on
the floor and began CPR. She started with infant CPR but when
she blew breath in him and pushed on his chest, blood bubbles
emerged from his mouth. She then commenced adult CPR while
appellant watched. When she asked appellant what had
happened, he replied that he was in the shower and didn't
know. Eventually, appellant called 9-1-1 and advised Ms. Iman
to get dressed. He then took over the CPR.
first assistance to arrive was Amos McPherson, an EMT. He
picked the baby up, saw no chest rise, and immediately
started CPR. He noticed blood and some clear fluid coming
from one of the child's nostrils and summoned the
paramedics, who were outside. Paramedic Mark Grant entered
the home and started CPR. The baby had no pulse, and the
paramedics were unable to intubate Amir or establish access
for an IV line. When they attempted to insert a laryngoscope,
they observed blood in the airway and were unable to see the
vocal cords. They transported the child to Holy Cross
followed the medical unit to the hospital in the back of a
fire truck. During the trip, he told one of the firefighters,
Russel Miles, that he had fed Amir and, when finished,
wrapped him in some blankets and put him in the basinet. The
baby made some "whimpering noises" for a while but
then was silent. Appellant checked on him about 15 minutes
later and saw blood coming from his nose. The baby was
unresponsive and not breathing. Appellant said that he then
called 9-1-1 and started CPR.
arrived at the hospital around 4:00 a.m. Dr. Mark Roddy, an
attending physician at the pediatric emergency department,
observed that Amir was not breathing or moving and appeared
to be blue in the face. The staff was able to resuscitate him
and get a spontaneous heart rate, but, as the hospital had no
intensive care unit for children, it transported Amir to the
Children's National Medical Center, where he spent about
two months but then was moved for a while to a hospice. He
later was transferred back to the Medical Center because he
was still on life support and a breathing ventilator.
received a variety of medications -- to regulate his
breathing, to prevent seizure, for muscle spasms and stool
softeners, and to regulate his heartbeat and body temperature
- and he had a feeding tube. Still, he was not stable. Ms.
Iman testified that, during the time Amir was at the Medical
Center, appellant "wasn't even in the room . . .
[but was] about in the hallway, and then sometimes he would
go into the conference rooms on his phone."
Iman was shown a CAT scan of Amir's brain so she could
see the significant damage to her son's brain. After
struggling with the decision and upon the recommendation of
the doctors, who believed that Amir would never recover, she
agreed to have him taken off life support. Appellant
initially objected to that, but he was incarcerated at that