Carson City man to be tried again in child neglect case

A Carson City man is set to be tried a second time for child abuse resulting in substantial bodily harm and failing to get help for his 3-year-old stepdaughter who lay unconscious and unbreathing on the floor of his home in 2010.

The Nevada Supreme Court late last year reversed Justin Carrigan’s conviction of failing to get help for his stepdaughter and remanded the case to District Court.

A new trial date was set for three days, starting at 9 a.m. Sept. 10.’

A jury found him guilty in September 2011 of allowing his stepdaughter to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of neglect, by allowing her to languish, unbreathing, before being cajoled into calling 911. The jury acquitted him on the second charge, of willfully causing the injuries as a result of neglect.

The Supreme Court wrote in its opinion that the evidence to convict Carrigan was sufficient but they were not convinced the evidence against him was strong enough that a wrong instruction given to the jury would not have mattered.

The supreme court wrote that the state must both prove abuse or neglect and substantial bodily or mental harm, not one without the other.

The instruction to the jury was not objected to during the trial.

The prosecution called Rochelle Ellis “severely brain damaged” during the 2011 trial, a result of her not having oxygen to her brain for the 13 minutes it took paramedics to both reach and revive her.

Carrigan was sentenced to 6-15 years before his case was reversed and remanded to the district court.


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