Man found guilty of child neglect

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Updated: 9/13/2013 6:17 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KRNV & -- Justin Carrigan was convicted by a jury of child neglect with substantial bodily harm, according to District Attorney Neil A. Rombardo.

This is the second time a jury convicted Carrigan of this crime. Allegations came from an incident on September 27, 2010, when Carrigan was the sole caregiver for Rochelle Ellis, a three-year-old at the time. Police believed Carrigan stopped Ellis’ breathing and then neglected to seek medical treatment by leaving the scene and deliberately refusing to call 911. Carrigan’s acts caused Ellis to suffer irreversible brain damage from a lack of oxygen after her heart stopped.

On September 29, 2011, a jury found Carrigan guilty of child neglect with substantial bodily harm but acquitted him of child abuse with substantial bodily harm. Carrigan appealed his conviction to the Nevada Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed his conviction due to an error in the trial court’s jury instruction.

Upon retrial, despite the expert opinion of the treating physicians that Ellis’ heart stopped due to child abuse, the court prohibited the State from introducing evidence of abuse. This left the jury to hear only evidence that Carrigan neglected to seek medical treatment for Ellis.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 21, 2013.

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