A man charged in the death of a three-year-old girl claims she died from a fall down the stairs at the Econo Lodge at Bonny Oaks Drive and Lee Highway.
However, prosecutor Lance Pope told a Criminal Court jury that Rhasean Lowry made up the story to cover his own attack Aug. 26, 2014, on Tatiana Emerson, his girlfriend's daughter.
Dr. Bryan Vance, a Parkridge emergency room physician, was asked if he thought the girl died from a fall. He replied, "It did not appear to be a fall. It looked like she had been assaulted to me."
Dr. Vance said he happened to be standing near the front of the emergency room talking with a security guard when Lowry came in and said he needed help with someone in his car who was injured.
Dr. Vance said he volunteered to go help, saying, "It was kind of slow. I was not doing anything and the nurses were busy."
He said when he went out in the parking lot Lowry motioned him to his car. It was then he saw the motionless child in the back seat with a sippy cup in her lap.
The witness said she was "staring forward with a blank stare. She was very pale with a gray appearance. I knew she was in distress."
He added, "She looked dead to me at the time."
Dr. Vance said he put one hand to her chest and the other to her neck, but was unable to get either a pulse or a breath.
He said he then sprinted into the hospital while cradling the little girl in his arms. He said, "I thought to myself, Oh, my God, I've got a dead child in my arms."
He said, "I ran probably the fastest I have in my life."
Dr. Vance said he and a team of nurses worked on Tatiana for about 20 minutes and finally got a pulse after shocking her. He said she was then rushed to Children's Hospital for more intensive care.
He said Lowry came into the room soon after the child was brought in. He said Lowry several times talked about the child having some milk in her hands and tripping. He said Lowry "never asked if she was going to be alright."
Nurse Deborah Kay Blevins said Dr. Vance came rushing into the emergency room, saying, "We need help."
She said she immediately started doing compressions on her chest to try to revive her, but she said, "She had no signs of life that I could detect."
She noticed bruising on her ear, her neck and other parts of her body.
Ms. Blevins said Lowry "had no emotion. He was very quiet. He was not tearful."
The witness said, "I was tearful. I was not able to go back to my station" for the rest of the day.
Officer Caleb Brooks told of going to Children's Hospital to take photos of the multiple bruises on the child's body.
He said one appeared to be in the pattern of a belt buckle. He later went to the jail and retrieved Lowry's belt.
Prosecutor Pope said, despite the fact there were seven security cameras at the motel, none was focused on the stairs where Lowry claims she fell.
He said Lowry told police he and the child had gone down to the lobby to get milk and coffee that morning, but he said a camera there showed that did not happen.
The child was declared brain dead two days after being taken to the hospital and died the next day.
Lowry was initially charged with rape of a child and filing a false report. Those charges were dismissed prior to the jury selection.
The child's mother, Melanie Emerson, was charged with aggravated child endangerment. She is due in court next Tuesday.
Lowry had taken her to work that morning and was alone with Tatiana, it was stated.