OPELOUSAS — An emergency room physician who examined a 19-month-old girl shortly after her 2013 death testified during a second-degree murder trial Tuesday that the bruises he found on her body were the most severe he has ever encountered.
Jevin Bordelon, one of several medical experts who testified in the trial of Robert Miller III, 36, said the girl, Victoria Renee LeJeune, was unresponsive and had a body temperature of 94.2 degrees when he examined her at Acadian Medical Center on Feb. 24, 2013.
“I have never had a case where there were this many significant signs of abuse,” Bordelon said.
Miller, an offshore worker who lived in a Eunice-area trailer with the girl and her mother, Kimberly LeJeune, is accused of causing the death of Victoria Renee.
Bordelon, forensic pathologist Christopher Tate and Scott Hamilton, director of the pediatric emergency department at Lafayette General Medical Center, all testified that the child died of brain trauma caused by blunt-force injuries.
“She had multiple areas of brain bleed. You see something like that maybe in a car wreck,” Bordelon testified. “When you see bruises like that, it’s textbook abuse. I’ve never seen anything so severe.”
Hamilton said the girl’s head injuries were, in his opinion, not the result of a single incident or an accidental fall. Instead, he said, her brain was affected by “several blows that occurred over a period of time.”
The jury viewed several photographs of the child taken at the hospital following her death.
Two other photographs, prosecutor Donald Richard said, were taken in the trailer by Kimberly LeJeune, about 42 hours before her daughter’s death.
Richard said in opening statements that the photos from the hospital indicate the girl’s bruising occurred between the time the photos of LeJeune were taken at the residence on the night Miller returned home from work and when the girl’s mother called 911 on Feb. 24, 2013.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Roy Richard said the bruises began appearing on the girl before his client returned from his offshore job. Richard also questioned the veracity of Kimberly LeJeune’s statement to sheriff’s investigators.
“They (Miller and Kimberly LeJeune) were interviewed five to seven times. Stories change, but she blamed him every time,” the defense attorney said.
Dustin Soileau, an Acadian Ambulance paramedic, arrived at the trailer and discovered the girl lying unresponsively on the floor near the doorway.
“She had no pulse. There was no respiration. She showed signs of abuse. There were abrasions around the lips, mouth, head, knees. There was quite a bit of bruising,” Soileau testified.
Miller and Kimberly LeJeune, Soileau said, told him they had tried to perform CPR on the girl before his arrival.
Soileau said he placed the girl on a ventilator for the ride from the trailer to Acadian Medical Center.
Bordelon said the girl never gained consciousness after arriving at Acadian Medical. “There was never any responsiveness or pulse,” the physician testified
Annie Frey, Kimberly LeJeune’s cousin, testified that she and LeJeune shared a six-pack of beer the night of Feb. 22, 2013, while Miller was asleep in another room.
Frey said she noticed several bruises on Victoria Renee’s body and commented on them to the girl’s mother.
“I told her those (bruises) did not look good or normal. I told (her) if you take that child out in public, someone will call the cops,” Frey said.