ELLSWORTH, Maine – A Corinth man accused of injuring his infant son six years ago took the stand Thursday morning in Hancock County Superior Court to testify in his own defense.
Nicholas W. Taylor Sr., 30, told a jury of 10 men and three women that he told state officials in the fall of 2002 that he may have handled his five-week old son roughly but that it was unintentional and that he never meant to cause any harm.
Wearing a coat and tie while on the witness stand, Taylor said “no” several times when asked by his defense attorney, Andy Slater of Ellsworth, if he was guilty of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injuring his son.
Taylor told the jury he and his then-girlfriend, who is the mother of the now 6-year-old boy, were in a car accident in Dec. 2001, eight months before his son was born at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. Taylor said that after his son was born, when the young family was living in Winter Harbor, he was taking medication for back pain, numbness, tingling in his arms and muscle spasms that were caused by the car accident. He also was on anti-anxiety medication.
Taylor said he initially told state police and Maine Department of Health and Human Services officials that he may have caused his son’s injuries because everyone around him was telling him that he did. He said that he now believes that though he could have been more careful when handling his infant son, he never was rough enough to cause his son’s injuries.
“I was told by the state that if I didn’t admit to something that I would never, ever see my children again,” Taylor testified.
Taylor is accused of squeezing his son, rocking him back and forth in his arms too roughly and dropping him approximately 12 inches onto a couch. According to prosecutors, the infant boy sustained a broken rib, bleeding eyes and nose, and seizures as a result of the rough treatment.
Taylor also is accused of failing to appear in court.
The case has taken several years to get to trial because of DHS procedural issues and because an earlier plea agreement with Taylor fell through. The boy has largely recovered physically but Taylor’s parental and visitation rights with his son have been revoked, Hancock County District Attorney Michael Povich said last year.
Closing arguments and then jury deliberations are expected to happen Thursday afternoon.