Mt. Juliet doctor guilty in death of 4-year-old daughter - WSMV Channel 4


Mt. Juliet doctor guilty in death of 4-year-old daughter

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Dr. Deborah Mark Dr. Deborah Mark

A Mt. Juliet pediatrician was found guilty Friday of murdering her own adopted daughter.

Dr. Deborah Mark was accused of killing her 4-year-old daughter Kairissa in a fit of frustration last year.

The jury in Wilson County began deliberations around 3:30 p.m. Friday and delivered the verdict around 8:30 p.m.

Mark was found guilty on all nine counts she faced, including eight counts of child abuse in addition to the murder charge.

She faces a mandatory life sentence in prison.

During closing arguments Friday, Mark cried as the district attorney walked the jury through each of the charges, citing the law and the specific evidence in its case.

"The only doctor that could have helped her turned her back on her," said Tim Swink, assistant district attorney.

The defense tried to cast reasonable doubt on the state's story and shift the suspicion to Deborah's husband, Steven Mark, who the defense said abused and demeaned both the woman and their daughter, Kairissa.

The jury also saw graphic images of the child's bruises and X-rays.

Steven Mark will also soon face charges in connection with the girl's death - eight counts of child abuse.

After the verdict, the district attorney said he felt they achieved justice for Kairissa, while defense attorneys maintained the jury would have found differently if not for what they believed to be a forced confession by Dr. Mark.

Previous trial coverage:

A jury will soon decide the case of a pediatrician accused of killing her adopted daughter in 2010. Both sides will soon give closing arguments in a Lebanon courtroom.

On Friday morning, the defense made the unusual move to call Mount Juliet detective David Stolinsky to the stand. He interviewed Dr. Deborah Mark's husband, Steven, around the time of his daughter's death.

Steven told detectives he used to discipline his daughter by placing her in a closet and a box in a dark garage. He also pried her mouth open with a toothbrush and once strapped her to her high chair.

The defense may be trying to show that the child's father was ultimately responsible for the girl's death. However, on cross examination from the state, the detective admitted the girl's death could not have been caused by those kinds of things.

Doctor testifies Mt. Juliet child was tortured

Jurors heard emotional testimony Thursday morning from doctors who cared for a 4-year-old Mt. Juliet girl who later died.

Dr. Deborah Mark is accused of killing her 4-year-old daughter, Kairissa, just a few months after she was adopted from China.

On Thursday, doctors told jurors the little girl showed several signs of consistent abuse, including bruises, a swollen brain and 13 broken bones.

Dr. Paul Hain, who cared for Kairissa at Vanderbilt Medical Center, said, "This child was tortured and then killed."

On Wednesday, prosecutors presented evidence taken from the home of Mark.

Jurors saw a shirt belonging to the child and a crib mattress that had blood stains.

Family friends also testified that they worried the child was being hurt at home.

So far, the medical examiner hasn't testified exactly what killed the child.

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