Defense doctor in murder case says baby had fragile bones, was not abused

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley child-murder trial is nearing its conclusion.

Aaron Rowe is charged with murdering and torturing his infant daughter in 2012.

On Thursday, prosecutors cross-examined defense witness, Dr. Charles Hyman.

Hyman, a pediatrician who researches bone injuries and evaluates possible child abuse cases, does not believe Peyton Rowe was abused and said she had fragile bones.

Aaron Rowe told police about falling with Peyton at their Visalia home a few days before she died.

Prosecutor Brenda Broker asked Hyman about that 'history.'

"So does that history fit all of her injuries? Broker asked. "The abusive head injuries, all the fractures?"

Hyman answered, "There are no abusive head injuries."

Broker asked, "Does it fit the head findings?"

Hyman answered, "Yes, it can fit all the head findings and the eye findings."

Earlier this month, a child abuse expert for the prosecution testified that all of Peyton's injuries could not be explained by a fall.

He claims Peyton suffered abusive head trauma, and said her older rib fractures were caused by shaking and squeezing around her chest.

Later on Thursday, Rowe's defense team asked Hyman how no one could notice the fractures if she had them while she was still alive.

Hyman said her pain was not localizing.

"One option is there was a high force traumatic injury that fractured some or all of these 13 to 17 rib fractures," Hyman said. "(There's) absolutely no evidence to support that. Or the alternative is that did these fractures occur not with a single application of force but through the process of micro-fractures in bone fragility?"

Peyton's mother and Aaron's ex-wife Courtney has already pleaded guilty to child abuse in the case, and will be sentenced this fall.

Rowe's trial will continue on Monday.

Closing statements are expected to happen early next week.
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