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Conviction upheld for Conyers man who killed baby son | Crime

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Conviction upheld for Conyers man who killed baby son
Crime
Conviction upheld for Conyers man who killed baby son

CONYERS, Ga. -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has rejected an appeal from a Rockdale County man who was sentenced to life in prison for killing his 5-month-old son.

William Grant Stewart asked the state's high court to review his case, saying his trial should have been severed from his wife's. The wife, Matea Mendez Stewart, was convicted as well in the baby's death.

Grant Stewart also contended that the trial court should not have been shown post-autopsy photographs of his son's brain injuries, but the Supreme Court of Georgia countered that the pictures were necessary to the prosecution's case, as "the victim died from the injuries to his skull and brain."

Stewart's son, James Antonio Stewart, was found unresponsive in his crib on July 28, 2010. Responding paramedics transferred the baby to Rockdale Hospital. He was later taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where a CAT scam determined he was brain dead "as a result of a fracture to his skull that would have required substantial force," according to court documents.

An autopsy determined the victim died of the skull fracture. Doctors also found evidence of squeezing, which injured the baby's ribs, and "multiple fractures in different stages of healing that were highly consistent with child abuse." The death was ruled a homicide.

Stewart told paramedics he laid the baby down for a nap, then went into his room later to check on him and noticed he was not breathing. However, neither Stewart nor his wife could explain the victim's injuries.

Grant and Matea Stewart were both arrested in August 2010. At trial, Matea Stewart testified she believed her husband killed their son. She was found guilty of felony murder and other charges, which Grant Stewart was convicted of malice murder and cruelty to children, among other counts, and sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison.

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