CINCINNATI – Glen Bates could face the death penalty after being found guilty of aggravated murder in his 2-year-old daughter's death Monday afternoon.
The jury said it found Bates to be "the principal offender" in the torture, beating and killing of Glenara Bates in 2015. The girl's mother is scheduled for trial next month.
Last week, Glenara's 10-year-old sister testified that she saw Bates swing the toddler by the legs and bang her head against a wall until she stopped crying. The next day, Glenara's eyes were shut and she was motionless, her sister said.
That was the fatal blow, prosecutors said, and they drove that home in closing arguments Monday morning.
"After receiving this type of trauma, you’re not going to be crying, you’re not going to be eating, you’re not going to be walking, you’re not going to be doing anything - all you're going to be doing is dying, and that’s what happened in this case,” Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said.
Bates' attorney said Bates might have dropped Glenara but he didn't mean to kill her. He said his crime didn't rise to the level of aggravated murder.
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"I do not think Mr. Bates purposefully tried to kill Glenara by starving her, nor do I think Mr. Bates purposefully killed her by a blow to the head," attorney Norm Aubin said.
"What we believe the evidence shows you is Mr. Bates is not guilty of aggravated murder.”
But Piepmeier scoffed at that. He said Glenara's injuries were more serious than if she were just dropped, and she reminded the jurors what Glenara's sister had said.
"She heard her sister crying, heard a thump, heard another thump, and then her sister was quiet,” Piepmeier said.
Piepmeier also referred to testimony by Dr. Jennifer Schott, the deputy coroner who performed the child's autopsy. Schott called Glenara's death "one of the worst I've ever seen."
"Dr. Schott used the phrase a couple times when talking about the amount of trauma on the body. She used a phrase I think you can apply to the number of lies in the defendant's statements: 'Too numerous to count,' " Piepmeier said.
Bates, wearing a blue sportcoat and tie, sat silently still and emotionless and looked straight ahead as the verdict was read.
Sentencing is set for Wednesday.
The specification of "aggravated" murder allows the state to seek the death penalty. Before the trial, Prosecutor Joe Deters said he hoped Bates and the girl's mother, Andrea Bradley, would both be found guilty and sentenced to death.
The jury came to a quick verdict about two hours after getting the case at 11:15 a.m. It also found Bates guilty of murder and child endangerment.
Bates had claimed Bradley, his girlfriend, beat Glenara. He said if he hurt her, he did it accidentally. Bradley faces the same charges.
Several jurors were in tears last week when Schott showed 70 graphic images of Glenara's bruised, cut and emaciated body.
Bates admitted in a taped police interview that he bit the girl on her arms and chest, but he said he was only playing with her and not trying to hurt her.
Schott testified that Glenara weighed only 13 pounds when she died, less than half the average weight of a 2-year-old. Glenara was covered in "C-shaped scars," determined to be bite marks, Schott said.
Schott said Glenara's head injuries were consistent with being shaken or swung into a wall or door frame, and that the wounds on the girl's legs and back were consistent with being beaten with a belt. Detectives believe Bates used a hot pink child's belt to beat Glenara; Bates said the girl's mother often beat her with a yellow belt while he was at work.
Schott said Glenara had severe diaper rash from her lower back to her thighs. During Bates' taped interrogation, he said Glenara was often made to sleep in a downstairs bathtub because of a bed-wetting problem. Prosecutors said the tub was filled with feces.
"My opinion in the cause of death is battered child's syndrome," Schott said in court Friday. "The manner of death is homicide."
Under cross examination, Schott said she couldn't be certain who caused the injuries to Glenara.
The defense rested without calling any witnesses.
WCPO Web Editor Greg Noble contributed to this report.