D.C. man indicted in his child's death

9-day-old girl died in April 2000 at Baltimore hospital


March 01, 2002|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

The 32-year-old father of an infant girl who died nearly two years ago after she was shaken was indicted yesterday on murder and manslaughter charges.

A Howard County grand jury returned an indictment for second-degree murder, manslaughter, child abuse and related charges against Rodney Rozier of the 1700 block of 17th St. N.W. in Washington, in the death of his 9-day-old daughter, Raven.

The baby was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital on April 12, 2000, after emergency workers responded to a call in the 8800 block of Flowerstock Row in Columbia that a child was having difficulty breathing, police said.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Friday's Howard County Sun about the indictment of Rodney Rozier in the death of his daughter, Raven, incorrectly stated the infant's age and the dates of key events surrounding her death. Raven was 11 days old when she died April 14, 2000. Emergency workers were initially called to her home April 13, 2000. The Sun regrets the errors.

She died that day. A medical examiner later ruled that shaking was the cause of death.

Deputy State's Attorney I. Matthew Campbell said yesterday the nearly two-year delay between Raven's death and the indictment came out of a need for "very careful review of voluminous medical records."

"That is what we wanted to make sure was accomplished before we asked a grand jury to make a decision," he said.

Raven, who was a twin, was one of three Howard County children who died as the result of shaking or impact injuries between the summer of 1999 and spring of 2000.

In the other two cases - the deaths of 8-month-old Victoria Dobbin in June 1999 and of 15-month-old Alexa Shearer in November 1999 - the children's caregivers have been convicted in trials that relied heavily on medical expert testimony.

William P. English of North Laurel, who was watching Victoria for his girlfriend, the girl's babysitter, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for second-degree murder.

North Laurel day care provider Kathleen Butcher was sentenced to 10 years for a manslaughter conviction in Alexa's death.

Prosecutors say expert testimony is also expected to be a crucial part of the case against Rozier.

Also yesterday, the grand jury indicted Ellicott City dentist Evan DePadua, 37, on misdemeanor assault and fourth-degree sex offense charges.

DePadua is accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old patient while she was under the effects of nitrous oxide. DePadua is said to have unzipped the woman's pants and rubbed her thighs after telling her he was testing for a jaw disorder on Jan. 19, according to charging documents.

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