Saturday, September 16, 2000

Jury to decide accused father's fate

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A Butler County jury will begin deciding on Monday the fate of Christopher Fuller, who is accused of killing his 2-year-old daughter.

        The prosecution wrapped up its case Friday morning in Common Pleas Court after more than three days of testimony. The defense ended its case after calling a psychiatrist to the witness stand.

        Mr. Fuller, 29, of Hamilton, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and rape in connection with the March 21 death of his daughter, Randi. He will be tried separately on the rape charge. A conviction for murder could bring the death penalty.

        Mr. Fuller initially told police that Randi choked on water, but eventually admitted that he hit her twice in the chest after she resisted his attempt to sexually assault her, according to trial testimony. Police said he also admitted that he sexually assaulted her on two previous occasions.

        Two pathologists have testified that Randi died from suffocation. Prosecutors say Mr. Fuller covered Randi's mouth and pressed on her chest.

        Mr. Fuller's attorney, Ron Morgan, questioned Hamilton Police Detective John Nethers on Friday about how he took down Mr. Fuller's signed statements to police.

        Detective Nethers said he thought Mr. Fuller understood the Miranda warning and the questions he was asked.

        The only defense witness, Dr. Douglas Mossman, a psychiatrist, testified that Mr. Fuller suffers from a developmental disorder that impairs communication and social interaction skills.

        Mr. Fuller's attorneys also contend that he had been awake for a long time before the police interrogation.


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