- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court rejected the appeal Thursday of an El Dorado man convicted of capital murder in the death of his girlfriend’s infant daughter.

The ruling upholds a Union County jury’s conviction of Desmond Evans and his sentence of life without parole.

Evans argued that the lower court failed to instruct the jury on lesser offenses of first-degree or second-degree murder. He also argued in his appeal that the lower court judge incorrectly allowed autopsy photographs of the child’s brain and a letter he had written from jail to be submitted as evidence.

In the ruling Thursday, the court said Evans maintained a defense of absolute innocence that does not allow for lesser sentences to be introduced to the jury. The opinion also said the question could not be ruled upon because it had not been properly raised with the lower court judge.

The court noted that Evans had not properly objected to the admission of the letter when it was submitted during the trial. The letter, which was not signed and had no return address, contained a request for someone else to confess to the child’s death as the result of an accident.

The Supreme Court said it would not reverse the ruling of a lower court to admit photographs “absent an abuse of that discretion.” The ruling noted the medical examiner testified that examining the infant’s brain helped him reach the conclusion that the death was a homicide.

Evans was convicted in the 2011 death of 21-month-old Cheris Samuels, who died of what authorities said were “multiple strikes to her head” with a blunt object.

Evans was watching Samuels for his girlfriend, who was attending an anger management class, according to court records. When she returned home, Evans said the child was napping on the sofa.

According to court records, he told the mother a short while later that a liquid was coming from the child’s mouth, and that her lips and face were turning bluish. Paramedics could not revive the child, who was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide