By Dave Pearce
It took a jury just about an hour on Friday to find Timothy Alexander “Alex” Lear, 25, guilty of murdering his 4-month-old son, Bryson James Clardy, in February of 2011. Lear was also found guilty of the charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and battery on a child resulting in death, both Class A felonies.
According to testimony at the trial, 13 separate injuries were documented on the infant, including brain damage and bruises that medical experts had testified were from somebody holding and squeezing the baby tightly, as well as a bruise on his forehead, a fist-sized bruise on the stomach and a spiral fracture of the arm, consistent with arm twisting.
Posey County Prosecutor Travis Clowers remained somber following the trial telling one reporter that the only satisfaction that comes from a situation such as this is “to hug the child’s mother and grandmother and let them know that justice will be served.”
A jury of seven women and five men served in the trial where jury selection began on Monday of this week in Posey Circuit Court.
According to Mount Vernon Police Chief Grant Beloat, on the evening of Feb. 14, 2011, at approximately 7:20 p.m., the Mount Vernon Police Department responded to Apt. No. 53 at Green Valley Apartments on the north side of the town. Beloat said the Posey County EMS and the Mount Vernon Fire Department also responded to the call.
“The call was in response to the call that a four-month-old child who was not breathing and was unresponsive,” Beloat said. “The child received medical attention and was transported to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville at approximately 8:03 p.m. The child received medical attention at that facility and was then transferred to Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Warrick County where at approximately 11:45, the child was pronounced dead.”
Lear had been babysitting for his child and another three-year-old child of the woman on the date of the death while the mother was at work. The other child had left the residence at some prior time that day.
Beloat continued that local officials had been working with the office of the Warrick County Coroner and former Mount Vernon resident Eddie Goff. An autopsy was conducted and it was determined that the cause of death was a homicide.
Goff indicated that the child had a fractured upper arm, brain swelling and multiple other bruises.
“Upon investigation, my deputies found that there was significant cause to perform an autopsy on this individual,” Goff said. “Trauma was found in multiple areas of the body of the child.”
“Anytime you are dealing with the death of anyone, you always know there is a family behind that death and it breaks one’s heart,” Goff said at the time. “But when you are dealing with a four-month-old child, it tears at you emotionally. It is hard for myself, as the coroner, and my deputies. But we have a job to do and we are doing that thoroughly and working seamlessly with the law enforcement community in Posey County.”
Investigators questioned Lear, the baby’s biological father. He was subsequently charged with murder and neglect of a child resulting in death, a Class A Felony, and battery resulting in the death of a child, also a Class A Felony.
“The father did call in, called 911, and reported that the child was coughing and not breathing and requested medical assistance,” Beloat said.
Beloat confirmed that Lear does have a prior criminal history, but that there had never been a call involving this child. He indicated that Lear had been at home with the child since the mother had left for work at around noon.
Lear was arrested subsequently arrested and formally charged with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and battery resulting in the death of four-month-old Bryson Clardy.
Local attorney William Gooden was appointed to represent Lear.
Gooden says he believes his client has a history of serious mental health problems.
In the four years preceding his arrest on murder charges, Lear has had a half dozen protective orders filed against him. He also has spent time in the Vanderburgh County Jail for battery, confinement and intimidation.
An appeal will be filed on Lear’s hehalf.