An Australian man is on trial for killing his six month old stepson after mistaking him for a spider. Dwayne Lindsey was taking a nap with the baby on his chest and claims he woke up and felt the pressure of the child, but in his sleep-addled state he thought there was a spider on him so he jerked violently causing the baby to roll off. The child, named Chayse, is said to have fallen and hit his head on a nearby heater and died. The child's mother, Michelle Dearing was at a shopping trip with friends to a 24-hour supermarket at the time of the 'accident' and received a call from Lindsey in the store to alert her to an emergency with the baby.
Prosecutor Nicholas Papas QC does not believe Lindsey's version of events, and believes the traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries do not match up with the claims of accidental death. A neighbour spoke via pre-recorded evidence played to the court and said that on the night of Chayse’s death, he heard people next door arguing and it kept him awake for hours. At about 8am, Lindsey was heard trying to wake the baby: 'He kept saying “hey you”. He said it about 60 times.' Lindsey then let out a ‘long dingo howl’ when he started to ‘realise there’s something pretty serious with the baby’, the witness added. Mr Woods, the neighbour, went on to say he heard swearing and Lindsey stomping his feet before calling the child’s mother about 8.20am, telling her ‘there’s something wrong with the baby – come home’.
Chayse’s mother told the court yesterday that she and Lindsey were planning to get married before the night of the baby's death, and he had proposed to her only nights earlier. Witnesses who were friends with Michelle, and present when she received the call in the store, spoke in court to vouch for Lindsey's parenting skills, one friends said she had taught Lindsey some techniques to help calm babies down and added he had ‘so much for patience’ for someone who wasn’t his son. ‘Chayse would light up when Dwayne would go to play. He leapt into his arms.’ The trial is ongoing.