Doc mocks accused baby killer's defense as 'hard to believe'
BY CHRISTINA CARREGA
Last Updated: 6:22 PM, January 15, 2013
Posted: 6:22 PM, January 15, 2013
A former Queens pediatrician mocked an accused baby killer’s defense today, testifying that it’s “hard to believe” a slight head bump could cause a two-month-old’s death.
Dr. Rusly Harsono worked at Flushing Hospital’s ICU in October 2007 the night Annie Li was rushed to the emergency room unresponsive, to her parents, Ying and Hang Bin Li.
"The father's explanation of a head bump is hard to believe, although I want to believe it, it’s hard to," Annie’s attending physician Harsono told Queens Supreme Court jurors.
The doctor ruled the tot's death a "non-accidental severe head trauma" and declared her brain dead on Oct 26, 2007.
Hang Bin, 28, is currently on trial for the murder, manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child charges.
Ying's case was dismissed after doctors discovered that Annie's injuries were "so severe" no matter what time she called it wouldn't have saved her life.
"Annie had no brain action, severe edema resulting from the brain shifting, splitting of the retinas, put it all together and this has to be an inflicting severe head injury," said the doctor, testifying for prosecutors.
The witness said little Annie did not die from the genetic, brittle-bone disease osteogenesis imperfecta -- as the defense contends is possible -- but instead was the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Although Hang Bin carries the gene for that condition, Annie didn't show any "clinical evidence of OI" to test her while she was alive, according to the doctor.
Harsono, who has since left Queens and now practices in Arizona, snapped at defense lawyer Cedric Ashley, who suggested his client only bumped Annie’s head on the side of a table, by accident.
"You want me to believe that hitting a baby on the side of a table would cause all those injuries? I find that hard to believe," Harsono shot back at the defense.
Ashley probed the doctor about new medical findings published in the Academic Forensic Pathology Journal in July 2011 that discussed "shaken babies die of neck trauma not brain trauma."
Annie's autopsy report showed that she didn't suffer any neck injuries.