John Colan Powers

PRINCETON — Attorneys representing a man facing charges in the 2018 death of a 2-year old toddler made motions Tuesday in circuit court about whether an autopsy report compiled by a medical examiner now living in another state can be presented to a jury.

John Colan Powers, 47, now at the Southern Regional Jail, appeared by video conference before Circuit Court Judge Mark Wills for a motions hearing. Powers was arrested in 2018 and charged with second-degree murder in the death of a child as well as death by a parent, guardian of custodian and child abuse with serious injury. The case involves 2-year-old Joseph “JoJo” Garbosky III, who died in August 2018.

Powers allegedly slammed the child into a bathtub, inflicted a third-degree burn on his arm and engaged in abuse that results in several broken bones, retinal hemorrhages and brain bleeds, according to a criminal complaint.

During Tuesday’s hearing, attorneys Brandon Austin and Joshua Lawson moved for the court not to allow the use of an autopsy report written by a medical examiner who has since moved to Montana. They argued that another physician should not present the report at trial; the defense would have not an opportunity for cross examination.

Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler said a physician who treated the child at Charleston Area Medical Center was in a position to provide an expert opinion since she had a “first hand” opinion about his condition. The autopsy report would be corroborated by the injuries the physician had witnessed.

Wills said he would hold ruling on the motion and have his law clerk research the relevant laws.

The trial has been set for September.

The child’s mother, 33-year-old Candace Jones, has been charged with death by a parent, guardian or custodian and child neglect resulting in death. She is currently being held at the Southern Regional Jail, and her trial has been scheduled for September.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline. com

Recommended for you