Verdict Reached in Murder Trial of Odessa Baby, Defense Attorney Sits Down With NewsWest 9

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- John Bailey of Odessa can now walk as a free man. On Thursday, jurors inside of an Ector County Courthouse found him not guilty. He was accused of capital murder in the death of his five week old stepson, Dustyn Wright.

Defense attorney Jeff Parras says it took more than five hours of waiting to get the word.

"[There was] a lot of pacing. [I] walked a lot of miles in the courthouse," Parras said.

In this case, the stakes were high. Bailey was facing life in prison without parole.

"When you're dealing with the death of a small child, you're always fearful that the jury is going to take the approach the someone has to pay," Parras said.

But, now, that won't be Bailey.

According to the arrest affidavit, in 2008, police say the baby's mother found him injured, lying on the floor of their Odessa home. This was while Bailey was supposed to be watching him. Bailey claimed that the child must have rolled off the couch. Wright was taken to Medical Center Hospital and then airlifted to another facility in El Paso for further examination. It was there that he was pronounced dead.

Autopsy results didn't match the story that was given. Examiners reportedly sighted that the baby had suffered from blunt force trauma to the head.

Claims made in the affidavit led to suspicions that Bailey was to blame, but Parras says that in the end, those claims just didn't add up.

"Witnesses were giving different stories. Some of them as many as four different stories," Parras said.

NewsWest 9 contacted the prosecution with the Ector County District Attorney's Office to discuss the verdict. They tell NewsWest 9 they respect the jury's decision but prefer not to comment any further.