Stepfather denies murder; Mother screams, charges defense tableFebruary 24,2014
By Brent Curtis
A Poultney man charged with the murder of his 2-year-old stepdaughter denied the offense and was ordered jailed on $250,000 bail Monday.
Dennis Duby, 31, faces 20 years to life behind bars for the killing of Dezirae Sheldon who Vermont State Police investigators say died from skull fractures inflicted by blunt force trauma.
Duby told investigators that he believed the child had fallen off a table and said he'd seen her fall from a toilet and a sink on the afternoon of Feb. 19. But an autopsy of the little girl showed that she had fractures to either side of her head.
"It appeared that someone held her head so tight her skull cracked," a doctor who treated Dezirae at Rutland Regional Medical Center told investigators.
Chaos erupted at the end of Duby's arraignment as his wife - the girl's biological mother, Sandra Eastman - charged the defense table screaming "What did you do to my (expletive) baby."
She was intercepted before she reached Duby by Rutland County Sheriff's Deputies who were at the hearing in strength due to the large number of angry family members and supporters who filled the Rutland criminal courtroom to capacity.
An hour before the arraignment, protesters gathered outside the state Department for Children and Families office in Rutland's Asa Bloomer Building, where they railed against that agency's decision to return Dezirae to her mother after Eastman was convicted in July of abusing her daughter.
DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone, who came to Rutland on Monday and spoke with the family of her biological father, said his agency would perform both an internal and external investigation into the circumstances of the toddler's case.MORE IN This Just InMIDDLEBURY — The Bryce Dance Company revealed its diversity Sunday at Town Hall Theater,... Full StoryFAIR HAVEN -- Police said a Fair Haven man shot and killed himself after two traffic stops early... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No money this year for western rail project, Lola Aiken memorialized in Montpelier, Supreme Court Castleton murder suspect will remain in jail, Shaftbury man fires shots from his AK-47 into neighbor's home.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev arrives in U.S. for historic 13-day visit; in 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign nuclear reduction agreement.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City celebrates completion of its newest mural, on West Street opposite the post office, more than $2 million in federal grants will bolster Vermont's health centers, Patrick McArdle reports on pending sale of Vermont papers.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River as far as present-day Albany, Leo Szilard has epiphany waiting for the light to change, 3 kids report a West Virginia close encounter in 1952.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Who will run for mayor in Rutland next year? Has Bennington overcome its fear of twerking? Documentary 'Hungry Heart' packs the Paramount, and the city's Creek Path scores another million-plus dollars.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: The 1509 'Lesser Judgment' earthquake on this day at Constantinople kills 13,000 and destroys the city; in 1801, on this day, Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans is born.