WICHITA — The jury began deliberating at about 3 p.m. today in the trial of a Wichita man accused of murdering 2-year-old Damion Thomas.
In closing arguments to jurors, the prosecution contended that it had strong, direct evidence that DeWhite Cameron was the only adult with Damion when he suffered fatal injuries on Sept. 19, 2008.
Prosecutor Kim Parker told jurors that four different witnesses heard Damion's older brother say shortly after the incident that Cameron was mad and hurt his younger brothers.
The defense argued that the case was weak and circumstantial and contended there was reasonable doubt whether Cameron was guilty — that someone else could be responsible, particularly Damion's mother.
Defense attorney Lee McMaster said medical experts couldn't say who caused the injuries or precisely when they occurred within a 48-hour period.
Cameron, 28, is charged in Sedgwick County District Court with first-degree murder in the death of Damion and with aggravated battery of Damion's twin brother.
The twins' mother, Shaneekwa Saunders, has pleaded guilty to aggravated child endangerment and been put on probation. Cameron was her live-in boyfriend.
According to a transcript of her guilty plea, she said she left her children with Cameron while she worked and that Cameron was abusing her and her children and that she knew they were in danger.
Authorities have said that he was alone with the children when emergency crews responded to a report that Damion was not breathing, after an initial report of a possible drowning in the bathtub of a home at 13th and Erie.
A coroner testified Wednesday that Damion died from multiple blunt-force injuries. His twin brother also suffered extensive injuries but survived.