Rexrode Child Abuse Trial Begins in Randolph Circuit Court

Rexrode Child Abuse Trial Begins in Randolph Circuit Court

ELKINS — Opening arguments were made Wednesday in the trial of Dylan Matthew Rexrode, a 26 year-old Durbin man charged with multiple offenses stemming from an incident in September 2019 when he was arrested for child abuse causing injury.

In June 2020 Rexrode was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault in the first degree, a felony; two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, or person in a position of trust to a child, a felony; two counts of incest, a felony, one count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, a felony; one count of malicious assault, a felony; three counts of child abuse creating risk of death or serious bodily injury, a felony; and one count of sexual assault in the third degree, a felony.

According to the original criminal complaint, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call in reference to an unresponsive infant. The report says the RCSD was informed by Ruby Memorial Hospital staff that the baby had a brain bleed and that there were signs of previous brain bleeds. The baby was in the care of Rexrode, her father, when a call went out to 911 about the infant being unresponsive.

The criminal complaint says that Rexrode admitted that he had shaken the baby three or four times while it was crying over the course of a month. He also allegedly admitted in the report that he had told the baby’s mother that he wished she and the baby were dead.

Both the defense and prosecution gave their opening statements to the jury Wednesday morning and Dr. Francis Casey, who examined some of the baby’s injuries, was called to testify. Casey is a pediatric critical care doctor at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital in Morgantown.

The doctor testified that the child was treated for severe head injuries; a rib fracture; and severe bruising across the baby’s face, forehead, chest and groin area.

The defense asked Casey if some of the injuries could have occurred to the child by someone running while carrying her.

Casey answered, “The child would have to be forcibly going backward and forward to cause something that severe. Someone just running with the child is not going to cause the same kind of forces that would cause this level of severity.”

Casey said some of the injuries were comparable to those that can happen in a car crash.

“This was an eight-week year-old child who wasn’t running around like a toddler and could not have caused these injuries to herself,” he said. 

“There was no other credible explanation than abuse that caused her injuries.”

Circuity Judge David Wilmoth is presiding over the trial, which will continue today and is scheduled to run through Friday.

Edgar Kelley