PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It does not happen very often, but a homicide trial is moving forward without the defendant being in the courtroom. Lincoln Levys, 29, of Wilkinsburg is accused of abusing and killing his infant daughter, Saige.
Levys refuses to participate in his trial. Two assistant public defenders are defending him in his absence.
On Friday, testimony of a forensic pathologist was key for the prosecution as to how 5-week-old baby Saige was killed on Oct. 23, 2014. This is a portion of the 911 call her mother, Sheena Alston, made that day:
911 operator: Tell me what happened.
Sheena Alston: My baby’s not breathing. Please hurry.
911: Where is the baby at right now?
Sheena Alston: She’s laying right here. She’s right in front of me.
911: How old is she?
Sheena Alston: She’s five weeks.
An expert in forensic pathologist, who performed the autopsy on the baby, testified baby Saige died because of abusive trauma to her head, trunk and extremities, and pneumonia also contributed to her death. Also, at the time of her death, the infant had two broken bones and abrasions on her face and body.
The baby’s mother told the jury Levys would hold Saige face down in his hand with a pacifier in her mouth and smack her on the back.
Defense attorney Ryan Tutera is not involved in the case, but tells KDKA, while it is rare, a criminal trial can proceed without defendant in the courtroom.
“In the event that somebody willfully removes themselves from the trial that shall not preclude the trial from going forward.” said Tutera. “It’s not common. It’s unusual, but I don’t think any adverse inference should be drawn from his unwillingness to participate.”
After the prosecution presented its case-in-chief, Levys was brought up to the courtroom and advised of his right to testify in his trial. He still refused to participate. The attorneys will give their closing arguments on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.
The Tribune-Review reports was attacked in the Allegheny County Jail and hospitalized this week.