John Ward was sentenced to death by the State of Alabama for the murder of his infant. According to court documents the infant mother would call 911 stating that the infant was not breathing. The ambulance attempted to resuscitate the infant to no avail. The doctor examined the infant and had determined the infant had been deceased for sometime. Upon autopsy the doctors detailed a number of injuries to the infant and shortly after John Ward would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
John Ward 2022 Information
|WARD, JOHN MICHAEL
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“On April 22, 1997, at 7:28 A.M. an operator at the Baldwin County 911 Center received a call from Michelle Milner Ward, who stated that her baby was not breathing. Ten minutes later paramedics arrived at the Wards’ residence, a 16′ x 7′ travel trailer. After receiving Nicholas Ward’s body from John Michael Ward (hereinafter ‘Ward’) the paramedics attempted resuscitation by intubation while en route to the South Baldwin Regional Medical Center. The emergency room attending physician, Dr. Robert Revel, examined the infant determining that he was not breathing, had no pulse, was cold to the touch and had rigor mortis. The doctor pronounced the child dead on arrival. In addition to the lack of vital signs, Dr. Revel observed abrasions on Nicholas’s scalp, nose and mouth area, pus-like material in his eyes, blood in the ears, bruises on the neck and chest, stool in the diaper, a deformity on his right arm, and crusty material in some nail beds.
“After the examination, Dr. Revel interviewed both parents. The father stated that Nicholas had been struck on the head by a folding chair falling from a shelf and that the baby had had breathing problems later in the day. The mother had wanted to seek medical attention, but that the father did not think it necessary.
“Dr. Harold Reed, a pediatrician, answered the code call in the emergency room. He testified that he also examined the body and found the internal body temperature was 88 degrees.
“Because foul play was suspected, hospital personnel contacted the Baldwin County Sheriff’s office. Officer John Stewart arrived first and was followed by Chief Investigator Huey Mack, Jr. Officer Mack also observed abrasions on Nicholas’s forehead, nose and mouth, bruises on the chest and arm, and missing toenails. He notified the Baldwin County coroner and the Department of Forensic Science of the unnatural death. Mr. Mack testified that the mother appeared to be upset during the administration of the last rites, but Ward was emotionless.
“Investigator Mack left the hospital and met Chuck Machette, a caseworker with the Baldwin County Department of Human Resources at the Ward residence. The crime scene was photographed and videotaped. Ward and his wife participated in the taping. Mack took into his possession a blood-stained pillow from the bed where the parents said Nicholas had been sleeping the night before. Subsequent DNA testing revealed the blood belonged to Nicholas.
“Dr. James Downs, the state medical examiner, performed the autopsy on Nicholas. He photographed and videotaped the body during the course of the autopsy. The pictures recorded the various injuries to the baby’s body. From the autopsy procedure, Dr. Downs concluded that Nicholas had been an infant that failed to thrive. In addition, the child suffered multiple fractures to the arms and ribs and damage to the toenails and fingernails. He opined that Nicholas suffered a spiral fracture of the right arm the day before death. Dr. Downs determined the cause of death to be multiple blun-t force injuries and suffocation.
“Michelle Milner Ward testified that early in her relationship with Ward he placed his hand over her mouth and threatened to suffocate her. Ward continued to physically abuse his wife throughout the marriage.
“Nicholas was born in December 1996, as the second child of her marriage to Ward. In January 1997, Mrs. Ward fled to her mother’s home in Mobile, taking Nicholas and his sister, [A.W.]. After remaining there one month, Mrs. Ward and the children moved to Penelope House, a Mobile County Shelter for battered women. After one month there, the mother and children returned to Ward’s trailer in Magnolia Springs. Ward inflicted numerous injuries on his four month old son and murdered him by suffocation in the early morning hours of April 22, 1997.”