Trial Of Molino Man Accused In Young Daughter’s Death Delayed Until September

July 31, 2008

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Another continuance has been granted in the trial of a Molino man accused of killing his infant daughter in 2006.

The continuance was granted Monday; he will now be back in court for a jury trial September 2.

Christopher Paterson, 28, was scheduled to stand trail July 14 for the death of his one year old daughter Ali Jean Paterson. But Assistant Public Defender Fred Carmody requested that the trial be postponed so an expert witness could prepare for the trial. The continuance request was granted by Circuit Judge Michael Allen until July 28.

Paterson’s trial had previously been set to begin on May 12, but was postponed after the defense announced a new witness in the case.

The girl died on November 26, 2006, from burns she received two weeks earlier when she was left unattended in a hot bath, according to authorities. Paterson told deputies he placed the child in shower that just felt warm and went to another room to get a towel. He said that when he returned, Ali was screaming, and there was steam rising from the shower. He then called 911 after noticing red sores on the child.

Ali survived at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham for two weeks before she died.

This was not Paterson’s first involvement with authorities over Ali. The Department of Children and Families investigated a broken leg she suffered in May 2006. Paterson and Brittany Knapp, Ali’s mother, took Ali to the hospital with a broken leg. They said her leg was broken when it became trapped in a slot in her crib. DCF did not find that the incident was abuse at that time.

Paterson was indicted by a grand jury on second degree manslaughter charges in February of 2007. He was arrested on May 1, 2007, near Gainesville. He has remained in jail since his arrest.

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