The D’Andre Glapsy defense team, from left to right: Attorney Anna Samuel, investigator Emily Willard, social worker Alix Willard, D’Andre Glaspy, attorney Michael Schueler and investigator Molly Gilbert. COURTESY PHOTO, Michael Schueler

The D’Andre Glapsy defense team, from left to right: Attorney Anna Samuel, investigator Emily Willard, social worker Alix Willard, D’Andre Glaspy, attorney Michael Schueler and investigator Molly Gilbert. COURTESY PHOTO, Michael Schueler

Jury acquits Renton man in death of 2-year-old boy

King County Medical Examiner’s Office stands by homicide ruling despite evidence found during investigation.

A Renton man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in 2017 was acquitted last month after an independent investigation found the child died from a medical condition.

For more than five years, D’Andre Glaspy lived behind bars in the King County jails in Kent and Seattle after being charged with second-degree murder in the death of Moses Ausley.

At the conclusion of his trial, the jury declared Glaspy not guilty on March 17, 2023.

Glaspy’s defense lawyer Michael Schueler said he broke down crying as the judge delivered the verdict. His co-counsel, Anna Samuel, standing next to Glaspy, also broke down crying.

Schueler remembers Glaspy, 29, looking to Samuel to ask what happened. Glaspy thought the jury had convicted him.

“You’re going home,” Samuel said to Glaspy — and Glaspy started to cry.

Medical evidence gathered by Glaspy’s defense team raises a question: Did the King County Medical Examiner’s Office make a mistake that resulted in Glaspy’s imprisonment?

Autopsy results

Glaspy dialed 911 at approximately 1:05 p.m. Dec. 3, 2017. He said to dispatchers he found Moses, the 2-year-old son of his girlfriend at the time, unresponsive.

Medics pronounced Moses dead at the scene. They noted bruising on Moses’s face, arms, legs, chest, back and sides and communicated concerns to law enforcement, according to court documents.

“I’m so sorry, this is all my fault,” responding officers reported Glaspy saying to his girlfriend.

Glaspy accompanied King County Sheriff’s Office investigators to SeaTac City Hall. In his interview, Glaspy said he left Moses standing on a towel after a bath to retrieve his phone in the living room. Glaspy heard a thump and returned to the bathroom to find Moses on his back and unresponsive.

Glaspy told investigators he first tried to wake Moses with cold water in the shower, then attempted to perform CPR in the bathtub prior to moving Moses to the living room floor and dialing 911.

Approximately 39 minutes prior to calling 911, Glaspy said he facetimed with Moses’s grandmother, who confirmed to police she saw Moses alive and responsive on the call. Glaspy denied assaulting the child, and said he didn’t know the reason for Moses’s injuries, according to court documents.

Dr. Nicole Yarid, associate medical examiner at King County Medical Examiner’s Office, performed Moses’s autopsy on Dec. 4, 2017.

Yarid documented extensive bruising, several broken ribs, rectal bruising and tears, a fractured pelvis, a ruptured ventricle, two lacerations to his liver, damage to the pancreas, brain swelling, and a number of healed and partially healed injuries including broken bones. Yarid determined the child suffered six — and potentially more — blows to the top of the head through an internal examination of his skull, according to documents.

Yarid ruled Moses’s death as a homicide. Cause of death: multiple blunt force trauma injuries.

Chief King County Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Harruff provided his professional opinion to police. The severity and number of injuries served as inconsistent with accidental injury, Harruff told police, noting that the injuries were inconsistent with Glaspy’s account of the incident, not having appeared to result from CPR.

Detectives arrested Glaspy two days after the autopsy. After the release of the autopsy, Facebook posts and comments on internet news articles called him a child abuser — and accused Glaspy of killing his ex-girlfriend’s son.

Proving his innocence

Glaspy pleaded not guilty on Dec. 21, 2017, at his arraignment to a single felony charge of murder in the second degree.

With the prosecutor alleging aggravating factors, Glaspy faced a potential sentence of life in prison.

Defense attorney Schueler said he believed in Glaspy’s innocence from day one.

The case resembled that of a medical malpractice case more than a criminal case at times, he said. Schueler and his co-counsel Samuel received a crash course in histology — reviewing tissue and cell slides using microscopes — and learned about immune system responses such as macrophages, eosinophils, lymphocytes and other white blood cell interactions.

Glaspy’s defense employed a team of doctors from Canada and the U.S. specializing in various fields to reexamine the case and Dr. Yarid’s work with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Moses’s mother noted in her statements to police that Moses showed signs of illness in the days prior to his death — including minor signs of fever, clinginess and fussiness, lack of an appetite, and lethargy on the day of his death, Schueler said.

Dr. Roland Auer, a neuropathologist, noticed clear signs of pneumonia from slides of Moses’s internal organs. The discovery of inflammatory cells that appear solely as a result of infection served as inconsistent with the narrative of abuse, Auer testified at trial.

Auer testified Moses’s pneumonia led to a condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation, resulting in the spread of clots mimicking bruises throughout his body. Auer looked at slides of Moses’s brain and found no injury. He also reviewed photos of the autopsy and found no evidence of intracranial bleeding — findings inconsistent with the prosecutorial theory that blows to the head had caused Moses’s death.

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, an infectious disease specialist, confirmed Auer’s assertions that Moses suffered from pneumonia and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The medical examiner never received any information regarding the mother’s statements or that Moses showed signs of infection, Schueler said.

According to Schueler, Yarid failed to conduct viral testing in her autopsy of Moses.

The recording of Glaspy’s 911 call with an operator providing “categorically bad” CPR instructions to Glaspy — suggesting that he push as hard as possible — served as further evidence that Moses’s injuries did not result from abuse, Schueler said.

Dr. Carl Wigren, a forensic pathologist, testified regarding the poor quality of CPR instructions provided to Glaspy.

In pediatric radiologist Dr. Julie Mack’s testimony, she said the location of Moses’s rib fractures — that the state attributed to abuse — failed to prove anything. Mack testified the placement of organs inside Moses’s body showed injuries consistent with CPR, not random blunt force blows.

Despite the evidence presented at trial and the jury’s decision to acquit Glaspy, Schueler said he thinks King County’s Dr. Yarid continues to stand behind her prognosis that Moses’s death was a homicide.

“I would venture that from here on out, she might not forget to viral testing in her autopsies,” Schueler said.

Aftermath

After having lost a majority of his 20s behind bars, Glaspy will have to restart.

Schueler, the defense team and social workers are supporting Glaspy as he reintegrates into society.

“This case has always been tragic. It’s tragic that Moses died. It’s tragic that Mr. Glaspy was falsely arrested and falsely incarcerated for (five years),” said Schueler, noting that Glaspy was simply “trying everything he could to save his son’s life.”

Schueler said he believes a bright future stands ahead of Glaspy.

Glaspy’s team will help to connect him with resources, including therapy and counseling, as he moves forward.

“He never had the opportunity to grieve Moses,” Schueler said. “(He) wasn’t his biological son, but Dre loved him with all his heart. … Moses was buried when Dre was in jail. Dre never had a chance to say goodbye.”

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office continues to stand behind Dr. Yarid’s autopsy examination findings of Moses and her testimony at trial, according to a statement provided to the Renton Reporter. The office’s determination of cause of death remains multiple blunt force injuries, and the manner of death remains a homicide. The office and Yarid declined an interview for this article.


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