An emergency room doctor said Tuesday that a 2-year-old boy who died from his injuries came into Ascension Via Christi Hospital in December 2020 covered in bruises, beyond what he would consider typical for a child his age.
Officials on Tuesday wrapped up the preliminary hearing for Gage Anderson, 21, who is charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a child in connection with the Dec. 1, 2020, death of his then-girlfriend’s son, Cyrus Matthew Miller.
Matthew Lockwood, an emergency room doctor who worked at Via Christi the night Cyrus came in with critical injuries, said he remembered seeing a nurse carrying the boy to the examination room and shouting for help.
“He was limp and unresponsive, and you could tell from 50 feet away ... the child was in jeopardy,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood said he also noticed Cyrus was cold, not breathing enough to maintain life and had “many, many bruises” in various stages of healing. He said toddlers fall all the time, but he remembered the bruises were all over his body and not just the usual locations, like on his shins.
Lockwood said medical staff worked on resuscitation efforts and did a CT scan on Cyrus’ head because head trauma could be a potential cause of his condition, but he did not note bleeding.
Lockwood said doctors and nurses immediately knew they would not be able to care for a child in Cyrus’ state, so they tried to have him flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
They were unable to stabilize him long enough for the flight.
At some points during the morning, Lockwood said he spoke with Cyrus’ mother, Sonya Williams, and her boyfriend, later identified as Gage Anderson. He said he wasn’t able to glean much information as to how Cyrus ended up in his state, but he said Anderson claimed Cyrus had gotten his pant leg caught on the night stand and hanged from it briefly. Lockwood said that wouldn’t have put Cyrus in his condition.
Lockwood said though he has not reviewed the official autopsy report himself, a Riley County police detective told him Cyrus had a liver laceration and small bowel contusions, and he died from hemorrhaging.
Police later arrested Anderon on Dec. 17.
Sonya Williams, Cyrus’ mother, testified she, her son and Anderson had all lived together at the time. She said the three of them had been staying at home in the couple days leading up to Dec. 1, so only she and Anderson would have had access to Cyrus.
She said Cyrus had complained of an upset stomach a bit, but other than that, he appeared normal when they went to bed.
Williams said she didn’t have further contact with her son until Anderson came into the room with an unresponsive Cyrus.
Williams said she had never hit Cyrus nor seen Anderson hit him, and they both had a close relationship with her son.
In closing arguments, Deputy Riley County Attorney Trinity Muth said this was a case of child abuse, and that the timeline of events and circumstantial evidence pointed to Anderson being the only one with access to Cyrus.
“(Cyrus) had bruises all over his body,” Muth said. “This wasn’t one fall. You can’t fall to the ground and have bruises on your face, your back, your chest, your arms, your legs or anything else. This child was beaten…”
Judge William Malcolm ruled that there is suffiicent evidence to move forward with a trial, setting an arraignment for 2:20 p.m. May 10. Anderson is confined in the Riley County Jail.