Monday, January 12, 2015

Christina Cinelli: Florida; The News-Journal's moving story on her attempts to carry on after her recent acquittal on a "shaken baby" child abuse charge. Reporter Tony Holt.

"Her arrest didn’t go smoothly. The aftermath was worse. Christina Cinelli waded through a 4½-year wait to stand trial for aggravated child abuse. The wait drained her spirit, but the outcome was what she wanted and predicted. After a series of delays that included rejected plea offers, changes in prosecutors and setting up medical expert testimony, Cinelli’s legal nightmare ended last week with an acquittal.  Cinelli, a 34-year-old Ormond Beach native, had been accused of inflicting brain injuries on 1-year-old Ely Dronski, a toddler she had babysat in her home about 40 hours a week since he was 6 weeks old, she said. A judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to suggest Cinelli caused those injuries..........On Friday, she and her attorney, Mike Lambert, sat down with The News-Journal to discuss the case. She described what her life has been like since the afternoon of June 16, 2010, when then-1-year-old Ely was carried out of her home by paramedics and taken by ambulance to the hospital..........While investigators concluded Cinelli violently shook or slammed Ely, causing injuries consistent with abusive head trauma, not all the medical experts who reviewed the evidence reached the same conclusions.........Cinelli had homicide investigators, a prosecutor and uniformed deputies coming in and out of her home the day Ely was taken to the hospital. “When those people are present, there is something very serious going on,” said Lambert. The early word about his condition from authorities was that he had sustained a fractured skull and retinal bleeding. Neither was true, according to doctors who testified both for the state and defense at trial......... For three years in a row, Cinelli thought her child abuse case was about to go before a judge following the holidays, but something would snag it and the wait kept getting longer. The Florida Department of Children & Families removed Cinelli’s son from her home not long after her arrest, she said. She went to court to get him back and succeeded. The judge presiding over that case, Circuit Judge Dennis Craig, was the same judge who acquitted her in her criminal case, said Lambert.  Craig based his decision on testimony from the defense’s radiology expert, who concluded the boy could not have suffered a seizure as a result of a traumatic brain injury the day of June 16, 2010. There wasn’t enough blood or brain damage to suggest Ely suffered from abusive head trauma, which used to be known in the medical community as shaken-baby syndrome. That radiologist, Dr. Julie Mack, testified via video. She charged no fee, Lambert said, and she wanted to see justice served. Two medical experts provided testimony for the state and both said Ely’s injuries were consistent with abusive head trauma. They also said evidence showed the injuries could only have occurred the day of the surgery. One of the doctors also said the surgery Ely had in Jacksonville saved his life. The state also called the surgeon to the stand, but he could not provide a narrowed-down time-line of when the injuries occurred. Lambert pointed out during his questioning of witnesses that Ely, who was just learning to walk, had fallen down about five days prior to his surgery. He banged his face against a toy that was lying on the floor. His mother said she remembered the fall and remembered it left a contusion below the boy’s eye. Witnesses also said the Dronski home had hardwood floors."

The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:  

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;