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Dmitry Yakolev / Chase Harrison- the Miles Harrison trial goes forward, ruling expected later today

The verdict in the Miles Harrison trial has been handed down since this article was originally written. Please see my later post entitled No, no justice for Dmitry for more up to date information concerning the verdict. The article below appears as it was originally posted.

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Перевести на русский

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This post is an update to an ongoing series of posts I have made about the death of Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison and the agency that placed him, European Adoption Consultants (EAC). EAC is one of the largest international adoption agencies in the world and the top agency in Russia (and had been in Guatemala.)

Russian law requires officials be kept up to date by the placing agencies of the disposition of the children placed through them with regular updates for the first three years. In the aftermath of Dmitry’s death, the Russian Federation Ministry of Education and Science opened an investigation into EAC for their apparent failure to report his death immediately.

Dmitry is the the second Russian child EAC had placed who died apparently as a result of actions by their adopters. Logan Higgenbotham was killed by her adoptive mother in 1988. You can read my previous posts about Dmitry and EAC by clicking here (read from bottom to top, as entries are in reverse chronological order.)

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As the Washington Post reported earlier this morning, Judge Upholds Charge Against Father of Toddler Left in Hot Car, we are awaiting a verdict in the Miles Harrison trail. The verdict will likely be handed down later today.

This morning in Virginia, Judge R. Terrence Ney refused to dismiss the case:

A Fairfax County judge this morning declined to dismiss an involuntary manslaughter charge against a man accused of leaving his toddler son in a hot vehicle for several hours, and the trial has resumed in Fairfax Circuit Court.

Miles Harrison, 49, of Purcellville is charged in the July 8 death of 21-month-old Chase Harrison. Chase was found inside his father’s GMC Yukon sport-utility vehicle in Herndon. The medical examiner said he died of heat stroke.

Harrison’s attorneys argued that the case was an accident, not manslaughter, and the charge should be thrown out. But Fairfax Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney noted this morning that Harrison had placed Chase in the vehicle and stopped at a dry cleaners on the way to work, and ruled that “the Commonwealth has met her burden of showing a prima facie case for involuntary manslaughter.”

(Emphasis added)

Harrison’s high profile lawyer, Peter Greenspun (see Bastardette’s piece- SPUNNING INTO CONTROL: MILES HARRISON HIRES HIGH PROFILE DEFENSE ATTORNEY PETER D. GREENSPUN) gets my vote for worst defense argument of the month:

The standard to convict someone for involuntary manslaughter is “negligence so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life,” Greenspun said after hearing the prosecution’s case. No one testified that Harrison knew Chase was in the car or intended to leave him there, Greenspun argued.

Greenspun asked Ney to dismiss the charge at the close of the prosecution’s case. Ney turned to Fairfax Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Katherine E. Stott and asked, “Is it the commonwealth’s position that even if [Harrison] forgot [Chase], that he should have known?”

“Absolutely, your honor,” Stott said. “It is judged on an objective standard, the offender knew or should have known the results of his actions. . . . When you have a 21-month-old child in your care, you are responsible for that child’s care.”

Ney said he would study the issue and rule today.

(Emphasis added.)

THAT’S the best he can come up with? Arguing the prosecution has not proven that his client, Harrison, was aware his adopted son was in the vehicle?!?

Well please, explain how Dmitry came to be bucked into his carry-seat, magical pixies perhaps?

According to the Judge’s comment above Miles Harrison HIMSELF placed Dmitry in the vehicle!

ABC 7 (the local ABC affiliate) has pointed out the presence of a Russian Embassy representative in the courtroom:

A representative from the Russian Embassy said officials there are watching the outcome of this case carefully.

This may have had a great deal to do with why the case was not summarily dismissed, unlike so many similar cases.

The deaths of Russian Adoptees due to the actions (or inactions) of their adopters has international implications. Unfortunately, Dmitry’s death is part of a much broader pattern, see:

NIKTO NE ZABYT — NICHTO NE ZABYTO

Nobody is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten.

A memoriam for Russian adoptees abused and murdered by their forever families

Finally, I also wanted to point readers across to Marley’s Daily Bastardette piece written yesterday at the start of the Harrison trial:

CHASE HARRISON/DMITRY YAKOLEV UPDATE: MILES HARRISON STANDS TRIAL TODAY

In it, she discusses some of the new revelations from the trial:

Information, which I have not seen earlier, came out during today’s trial. Harrison, as some of us suspected, was not accustomed to taking Dmitry to daycare– a job his wife Carol, an executive with Homeland Security, usually handled.

Then this astounding revelation: on the way to work, with Dmitry in tow, Harrison remembered to drop off clothes at the dry cleaners AND he remembered to grab his backpack with his work materials from the front seat of the car, just inches away from Dmitry! But he didn’t remember Dmitry.

I will be following the case as it unfolds throughout the day.

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