Thursday testimony in Pryce trial

Staff Writer

The trial of Brittney Pryce entered into its fourth day at Custer County District Court in Broken Bow on Thursday.

The defense in the Brittney Pryce trial called Dr. Zhongxue Hua, a forensic and neuropathologist from New York, as a witness. Dr. Hua testified that he spent 20-24 hours working on the case. He testified that he believes the claim of the defense that a fall in the bathtub Nov. 15, 2013 is a valid explanation of injuries sustained by Noah Pryce, who died from the injuries. Hua described the two days between the alleged fall and the time Noah was found unresponsive Nov. 17 as a “lucid interval” during which a person receives a fatal injury but does not show it until a later time. “It is a real phenomenon, but at the same time it is not a common phenomenon,” Dr. Hua said.

Also called to the stand were dispatchers and medical personnel who attended Noah Nov. 17.

Taking the witness stand was Nancy Parliament, a dispatcher for Custer County for the past 10 years. In response to a suggestion of the defense that the first 9-1-1 call from Pryce went unanswered, Parliament testified that calls are re-directed to other phones if not immediately picked up so there is no way for an emergency call to go unanswered.

Michael Beals, the 9-1-1 dispatcher who received Pryce’s call Nov. 17, 2013 also as called to the stand. The court then listened to the tape of the call. The defense acknowledged that Pryce sounded upset during the call. At one point Pryce is heard to ask Beals, “Is there something I should be doing for him (Noah)?”

Londa Wood, an EMT for Custer County since 1997 and one of the EMTs that responded to the call, testified that she saw bruising under one of Noah’s eyes.

Kimberly Clay, an EMT for Custer County since 2005, was also one of the EMTs who went to the Pryce home on Nov. 17. Clay testified that she came in to the home, picked up Noah by sliding her hand under his back and neck to support him, that she saw bruising on Noah and his breathing was not normal.

Dr. Julie Lindstrom of the Central Nebraska Medical Clinic was the doctor on call for the Melham Medical Center Emergency Room and was the first doctor to see Noah when he was brought in. Lindstrom did not testify as to whether or not there was child abuse saying she was focused on finding out what was wrong and trying to fix it.

Also called to the stand was Joseph Debban, a flight nurse for the past 10 years at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney and the Chief Flight Nurse for the past two years. Debban, referring to his reports of that day, recounted the events that took place after Noah Pryce was brought to Melham Medical Center in Broken Bow. Debban was on the flight that took the child from Broken Bow to Kearney as well as on the flight that took him to Omaha.

Pryce faces a charge of child abuse leading to the death of a child, Class IB Felony which carries a sentence of twenty years to life.