An Oakland man was ordered held on $50,000 bail Tuesday on charges that he assaulted 2-year-old twins who were hospitalized with multiple injuries two weeks ago.
David Devine, 25, was arrested Friday on two counts of aggravated assault after police were given the twins’ medical records and found multiple blood smears in the mobile home Devine shares with the girls’ mother, Emily Walker.
The prosecutor, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, requested $25,000 bail on each count “due to the extensive injuries to the children.”
Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy said she found probable cause in the police affidavit to support the aggravated assault charges and set bail at $50,000. Devine did not enter a plea at his initial court appearance Tuesday via video.
Investigators say they found a small bloody handprint on the inside of a closet wall, more blood on a dresser in the girls’ room, “blood splatter marks on the wall in the hallway” and a blood smear near a window in the home where Devine and the children’s mother were living. Those details, and the specifics of the children’s injuries were part of an affidavit by Oakland Police Capt. Rick Stubbert filed in Kennebec County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Police were called to the Oak Street home about 9:30 p.m. May 11 when Walker told police she returned home from work to find her two daughters injured. Paramedics told investigators both girls had several injuries, including one with a broken arm and the other with a broken leg.
They were initially taken to Inland Hospital in Waterville and then taken by LifeFlight to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Walker told the Morning Sentinel that when she got home from work on the night of May 11, she immediately noticed that her three children were much too quiet because “usually they’ll pop right up, but there was nothing.”
Walker’s 4-year-old son, Wyatt, was in the bedroom with Devine, she said. “David was yelling at him to stay in his room.”
In the living room, Brooklyn was on the couch and Maddilyn was lying on a bean bag chair. The 2-year-old twins were awake, but far too quiet. Maddilyn was having trouble breathing and her eyes were going gray, Walker said.
“She was almost unconscious,” Walker said. “I touched her arm and I knew right there that it was broken.”
Walker dialed 911, and relayed Devine’s story, that Wyatt had attacked the girls with a plastic bat, to dispatchers.
But within minutes she began to doubt his explanation for the serious injuries that would see her twin girls airlifted to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for treatment.
Even before emergency responders arrived, she said, she grew suspicious of Devine’s story.
“It just didn’t add up,” she said. “His story started to change and the time frames were off.”
Twelve days later, police arrested Devine and charged him with assaulting the girls. Brooklyn and Maddilyn are expected to heal completely but face a long and painful recovery, according to their mother.
Brooklyn’s injuries are the worst, Walker said.
“She will have to go through physical therapy,” she said. “She will have to learn to walk again.”
She suffered a broken femur and severe bruising to her lungs and kidneys, and her elbow was shattered, with the cartilage twisted and displaced. The day after the attack, Walker said, Brooklyn’s lower body was placed in a cast that extends from her ankle up to her waist, as well as a full arm cast, which effectively immobilize her.
“She cries in pain for an hour at a time,” Walker said.
Devine was represented on Tuesday by attorney Scott Gurney, who requested bail be set at $70,000 worth of property, saying Devine’s father owned real estate and might be willing to put that up for bail.
Devine’s mother, Susan Wood, and his aunt, Kathleen Kennedy, were in the courtroom Tuesday to watch the video hearing.
“My son didn’t hurt those little girls,” Wood said after the hearing. “My son loves those little girls.”
Kennedy said she was with Devine and the children all day on May 11, and said that he never hurt anyone.
Police said they interviewed Devine twice about the injuries to the girls, and both times he blamed it on their brother, saying the 4-year-old boy had caused the injuries with a plastic bat and by jumping on one of the girls.
However, Stubbert said at one point, “Devine agreed that (the boy) could not have injured the girls to the extent they were injured,” according to the affidavit.
Devine, who has no criminal convictions, was held without bail over the Memorial Day weekend. Police have said they arrested Devine at Waterville Tire Center, where he works.
On Tuesday, Devine, wearing a large white shirt that hung several inches below an orange jail uniform top, kept has arms behind his back and told the judge he understood his rights.
Conditions of bail prohibit Devine from having contact with the twins, their brother and mother as well as their maternal grandmother and two of their mother’s sisters.
After the hearing, Maloney said the girls are out of the hospital now and “are living with family and mom, and she’s getting support.”
Walker said Brooklyn tries to get vicarious pleasure from the actions of her siblings.
“I can’t walk. You walk,” she’ll tell her sister. Or, she’ll call to Wyatt so that he will cuddle with her.
She said Maddilyn’s most serious injury is a broken humerus in her arm, which also required a cast.
As the girls heal from their broken bones and bruises, which were serious enough that they required an emergency helicopter flight to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Walker said she worries that even after the physical injuries heal, emotional scars from that night will remain.
Daily, the twins show signs of terror, she said.
“At night time they are petrified,” she said. The usually chipper Wyatt is more upset than his younger sisters, Walker said.
When he talks about the incident, he gets teary-eyed, she said.
He is a 4-year-old boy who, Walker said, believes he should have stopped what police say was an attack by a grown man on two children, but the Wyatt tells her he was too scared to intervene.
Devine was charged with domestic violence last October, along with unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, morphine, and operating under the influence. That charge, which involves a woman not connected to the Walker family, is still pending.
Julia Colpitts, executive director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, said people involved with substance abuse and domestic violence are more likely to hit a child.
“It’s a sometimes-lethal and certainly dangerous combination,” she said.
Walker said that before the attack, things seemed to be going well for the family. Walker said all three children referred to Devine, who is not their father, as Dad, and she and Devine had planned for him to adopt them.
Wyatt is a good-natured, high-energy child and is close with his sisters, said Walker, who described the girls as carefree and happy.
Devine was often home alone with the children and as far as she knew, he never hit them before, she said. “I’m just baffled with the situation,” she said. “You don’t think somebody can do that and then it happens.”
Walker said though, that she now recalls that sometimes when she prepared to leave the house, her children asked her to stay and have Devine leave instead. She doesn’t know whether that was simply a normal expression of the children’s love for their mother, or a warning sign.
Walker has moved to a new home with her children as she tries to put the incident behind her.
Colpitts said warning signs are easier to see after a violent episode than before. It can be difficult for mothers to see and understand the risk, especially when it comes from someone who says that they love both mother and child, Colpitts said.
“In general, mothers don’t assume that somebody will hurt a baby,” she said. “People who are abusive are wonderful about putting their best face forward.”
Colpitts said other mothers would be well advised to “have a little less empathy and look with a critical eye and see whether some of those red flags are there.”
Walker said that she will not return to Devine and will advocate for the most severe punishment possible under the law.
“I’m doing OK,” she said. “I’m … kind of trying not to break down.”