Week three has begun in the Amanda Dumont-Scott Bakker trial, looking into the death of 20-month-old baby Ryker Daponte-Michaud, who was found dead in their Strathroy home in 2014. The baby died of severe second and third degree burns after coffee was spilled on him and he was never taken to hospital or treated.
Dumont and Bakker have jointly been charged with criminal negligence and separate charges of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
There were several breaks and recesses taken on Monday in the courtroom, in what’s been a slow and confusing trial. Four witnesses took to the stand – three from the Strathroy Caradoc Police Department, and Jeremy Dupuis, a former OPP member who analyzes electronic devices.
First to testify was officer Anne McPherson, who revealed she arrived on scene the night of baby Ryker’s death to a messy house filled with dirty dishes, toys lying around, and an open ovem in the kitchen with a half-cooked pizza. She said at the time, Scott Bakker was crying and sweating profusely. “I put my hand on his shoulder and could feel the dampness of his shirt,” said officer McPherson. She also revealed a series of websites that were found on Dumont’s and Bakker’s computer history – the searches included how to treat the second and third degree burns of baby Ryker.
Sargent Jason Cartwright was up next, the leader of the scene the night of the baby’s death. He said the day after Ryker’s death, he received a tip from a neighbour that lead to evidence in a “wheely bin.” Inside the bin were three garbage bags, one that was full of green medical tape, ointment, and what seemed to be a glass crack pipe. The bag was seized and tagged as evidence.
Officer Mark Thuss took the stand third, following Dupuis – who seized and analyzed two cellphones, an answering machine, and a Nintendo DS from the couple’s home in 2014. Text messages were revealed to the jury, a conversation that was exchanged between Amanda Dumont’s phone and what is believed to have been Scott Bakker’s phone – still no evidence the second phone was his. The second phone, however, did have his Facebook profile, pictures of himself, and a message to Amanda that read “it’s Scott.” The texts included talk about groceries, a set of speakers, but most of all, arguments about their relationship at the time.
The general consensus from the three officers was that both Dumont and Bakker were frantic and hysterical the night of baby Ryker’s death. They all shared that Bakker was profusely sweating and red in the face on the night of the incident, and that Dumont refused to have any of her family present. Dumont’s lawyer used Bakker’s abnormal sweating as suggestions of evidence, claiming they could have been signs of someone who was high on drugs.
The trial resumes Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. with more witnesses to testify.