Brittney Burns – Staff Writer
The Macon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 3-month-old Liam Wilson. Based on a search warrant on file at the Clerk of Courts office, Macon County Sheriff’s Office Detective Dani Burrows applied for a search warrant for the residence and vehicle of Jesse Wilson and Julia Angel Vance during an investigation that “Constitutes evidence of a crime and the identity of a person participating in a crime of 1st Degree Murder.”
Liam was pronounced dead after his father Jesse Wilson called 911 the morning of May 9. According to MCSO reports, Wilson was caring for Liam while the child’s mother, Julia Angel Vance, was at work. Jesse told authorities he placed Liam to sleep face down in his bassinet after feeding him at 6 a.m. that morning.
Wilson told detectives he had checked on Liam every 15 minutes and the last time he checked on the infant and observed him breathing was at 8:20 a.m. The call to Macon County dispatch was placed at 8:44 a.m.
Court documents show that first responders arrived on scene just before 9 a.m. to find the child unresponsive. MCSO deputies who responded to the call observed that Liam appeared to have bruises on his forehead before being transported to the hospital. According to Dr. Theodore Sikorski, who spoke to detectives after Liam was pronounced dead, the bruises on Liam’s head appeared to look similar to fingerprints. During the interview with Julia Vance, she told detectives she was concerned about seeing bruises on Liam’s head every time that she left Jesse to care for him.
After several interviews with Wilson, he admitted that he often got frustrated with Liam and would squeeze his head. Wilson stated that when he would do that Liam would, “look at him all funny with his eyes and go down to a whimper.” Wilson admitted that he had been reacting that way to the infant over the last month and a half after he became the primary caretaker for Liam since he was out of work and the child’s mother was employed. He also admitted to squeezing the child’s head the morning of the infant’s death.
An autopsy was conducted on Liam on Friday, May 12, with Detective Burrows present in Wake Forest. Liam’s body had multiple contusions, petechiae, a bruised frenulum, retinal hemorrhaging, spilling of red blood cells onto the brain, as well as a minimum of 17 visible bruises on his head.
The search warrant states items to be seized as computers and computer related storage media, correspondence including electronic mail, chat logs, telephone records, and electronic messages.
The search warrant states that there is probable cause to believe that first degree murder was committed in the case of 3-month-old Liam. To be convicted of first degree murder, officials have to prove that the crime was committed with malice with a specific intent to kill formed after premeditation and deliberation.