Testimony begins in a case where a man is suspected of beating a toddler

Testimony is underway in a case where a man is suspected of beating a toddler, leading to the death of the 2-year-old.

Aaron Conrad remembers the scene in his North Fort Myers neighborhood when Deputies found a 2-year-old, Chevy Catalano, bleeding and severely hurt in June 2017.

Damien Palmer, 22, was charged with Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Child Abuse as he is suspected of causing the injuries that led to Catalano’s death days later. Prosecutors questioned doctors about Chevy’s condition.

“He was unresponsive when he came by ambulance,” said Brian Schultz, a former doctor at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “He had fixed and dilated pupils and he had multiple bruises. It was clear this kid was injured very badly and there was a concern about inflicted traumatic brain injury.”

Palmer, Chevy’s mother’s boyfriend, turned himself in. Deputies said he was the only one watching Chevy on the day of the incident.

The Dept. of Children and Families said Palmer told them Chevy hurt himself while outside on the family’s trampoline. However, doctors who treated Chevy suspected child abuse.

“The extent, the pattern, the severity of the injuries,” Schultz said. “It was not consistent with accidental trauma in my medical opinion.”

While other doctors were interviewed, all agree the injuries were brutal, but the defense argues the doctors don’t have the expertise to determine physical abuse.

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