After two mistrials, prosecutors are dropping charges against a Manhattan man who had been accused of murdering his former girlfriend’s 12-week-old son in 2018.
Riley County attorney Barry Wilkerson on Friday filed a motion to dismiss charges of first-degree murder and child abuse against D’Khari Lyons, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend’s son Michael Calvert Jr. in November 2018.
Chief judge Grant Bannister granted Wilkerson’s motion. Prosecutors could decide to charge Lyons again.
Lyons had been tried twice already, but both times ended in mistrials. A September 2019 trial resulted in a mistrial because of a hung jury, and in January, Bannister granted lead prosecutor Bethany Fields’ motion for a mistrial as a result of questions from the defense she thought were inadmissible and highly prejudicial.
In both trials, prosecutors argued that Lyons had abused and murdered Calvert Jr. while his former girlfriend Jessica Hudson had left her infant in his care. An autopsy showed that Calvert Jr. had suffered bleeding around the brain and spinal cord, damage to the spinal cord itself, a skull fracture that stretched across two cranial bones, bleeding in the eyes, and bruising and swelling across his body, neck and face.
Lyons’ defense argued that Lyons had a history of responsibly caring for others’ children. They said Lyons did not know what happened to the baby and argued the injuries could have been the result of some other accident.