He was found dead in a freezer. His mom tells the court what happened.

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jul 11, 2023

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Day two of the trial for a Chesterfield man accused of killing his youngest son and storing his body in a freezer for several years resumed Tuesday. It included testimony from the boy's mother, who described the day he died on the witness stand.

Kassceen "Kass" Weaver, a former University of Richmond basketball player, faces felony murder, felony child neglect, and concealing a dead body charges in relation to the death of his son, Eliel Adon Weaver, 3.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article contains graphic details about the death of a child. Reader discretion is advised.

The mother was initially charged in connection to the boy's death, but prosecutors later withdrew the charges and charged Kassceen Weaver with aggravated malicious wounding against her.

He stands trial in that case next month.

The majority of day one was taken up by jury selection to find 12 jurors and two alternates to hear what is expected to be a five-day trial (including Monday).

Once that was finished, the prosecution and defense both presented their opening arguments to the jury, laying out how they see the case and what they intend to prove.

Prosecution Witness #1 - Wife of suspect/mother of victim

The first witness called by the prosecution was Kassceen's now estranged wife and mother of their two children.

She said she and Kassceen began dating as students at the University of Richmond in 1993 and married in 2015. They had two sons together, including Adon, the younger of the two, who was born in September 2015.

She said while their older son was born at the hospital, they had Adon at their home (because there were no issues with the first). She said he was a seeminly happy and healthy baby, but they soon realized he was not hitting growth milestones and said "he was slow". This included slow in his movements, picking things up, and speech.

The mother added while she wanted to take him, Adon was never taken to a doctor, because Kassceen did not believe in them (but said the older child was taken to a doctor prior to Kassceen started to homeschool him).

She said Adon's cried every day to the point that he would pass out at times and his issues began to create problems in her marriage with Kassceen.

She said Kassceen was the primary caregiver to the children and he did not trust the kids with anyone else. As such, he dealt with Adon's neediness and told her "it can be nerve-wracking". She added he treated Adon with less patient than the older child. The mother said Adon was also always bruised because Kassceen used corporal punishment and would hit his buttocks with his hand or belt.

"He was very rough with him…very, very aggressive," the mother said regarding troubles to get Adon undressed, which saw Kassceen having to rip his clothes off at times.

The mother said one of Adon's crying until he passed out episodes happened nine days before his death. She said she was downstairs and heard Kassceen yelling upstairs. She said he then called her up and she found Adon passed out. She said she performed chest compressions until he woke up.

She said Kassceen went to get a glass of milk and when he was gone, her son looked at her and put his hand to the side of his head. She added Adon acted normal after that.

Then, the mother said she was at work on Oct. 23, 2018, when Kassceen called her and said Adon had passed out again and was not breathing. The mother said she told Kassceen to take Adon to the emergency center less than a mile from their family's home, but said Kassceen told her he performed chest compressions and he woke back up.

Because the family only had one car, the mother said she had to get a ride from her coworker's mother and took about 40 minutes to get back home, but she was on the phone with Kassceen and he said that Adon was OK and awake.

But when she got home, she said Adon was on the floor in his diaper, surrounded by vomit, and did not appear to be breathing or alert. She said she did CPR and chest compressions again and thought she heard air come back out.

The mother said she "begged" Kassceen to take Adon to the hospital, but he said no because of Adon's bruising and their other child would be taken away.

The mother said she kept performing chest compressions until Kassceen said Adon was "gone". She added she "was just screaming and crying" after Adon died, but went along with what Kassceen said.

She said she then bathed Adon's body, placed him in his crib, said goodbye, then left the room. She said Kassceen then wrapped Adon's body in clothing (which she did not watch), placed it in a plastic bag, then inside a plastic bin. They kept the bin in the family's den until it started to smell (with even their older son mentioning the smell) and so, Kassceen bought a freezer for the garage and they moved it to there. She said while she did go into the garage, she never looked in the freezer.

The mother said she and Kassceen talked about this being a crime and added they talked in passing about buying a house with land and burying Adon in the back.

She said they never told anyone about what happened to Adon until May 3, 2021, when she told her brother in a phone call when she also told him about marriage issues between her and Kassceen.

On the defense's cross examination, the mother confirmed never taking Adon to the doctor (in general) was a joint decision and neither child was vaccinated.

She also confirmed Adon was clumsier than his older brother and fell when learning to walk. She added there was a situation when Adon and his older brother were on their parent's bed and fell off. She said she did not know if he hit his head (as the defense said) as neither parent was in the room at the time. She said Adon's older brother said Adon fell and that Adon seemed fine.

The defense also asked about a situation where Adon fell and had his tooth jammed back into his jaw. The mother said Kassceen had kicked Adon and caused the fall. The defense then pointed out that in a January 2022 interview with investigators, she mentioned the fall, but never brought up Kassceen's kick.

As to the spankings, the defense asked the mother if it was "anything big" and she said no and it was done by hand. She was again reminded of the above interview and the defense said she never mentioned anything about Kassceen using a belt and the mother confirmed she told investigators it was "not a big deal".

Regarding the crying spells, the mother said there were only the two she mentioned and did chest compressions during the first one for maybe a minute.

When asked about bathing Adon after he died, the defense asked if there were any cuts or bruises on him and the mother said there was nothing new.

Prosecution Witness #2 - Coworker of mother

The second witness was someone who worked under Adon's mother at the pharmacy where she worked. She described the day that Adon died and reaclled the mother getting a call at work and helping her get a ride back to her house.

She said neither her or her mother went into the house.

Prosecution Witness #3 - Uncle of victim

The third witness was the uncle of Adon and his mother's brother.

He said he had not heard much from his sister as he could not get in contact with her, but said she called him in May 2021 and told him about Adon's body being in the freezer. He said after that, he called Chesterfield police and told them.

Prosecution Witness #4 - Chesterfield Detective

The fourth witness was a Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD) detective who began the investigation into Adon's death.

He said the mother's brother called police after she spoke with her and told them about the body in the freezer. He said he spoke to the mother at her place of work, while other investigators executed a search warrant at the family home and he eventually went there.

Prosecution Witness #5 - Chesterfield Detective

The fifth witness was another CCPD detective who said he watched the family home until they had the search warrant.

He said he cleared the house once they executed the search warrant and found the freezer in the garage where he said the plastic bin containing Adon's body was underneath bags of ice and frozen turkeys.

He said after the bin had been out of the freezer for 10-20 minutes, they began to get a decomposition smell and called the medical examiner.

On cross examination, the detective was asked if the freezer had a lock on it and the detective could not recall, but said it was not locked when police got there. He confirmed access to the freezer did not appear to be blocked.

Prosecution Witness #6 - Forensic Investigator

The sixth witness was a forensic investigator who processed the scene in the garage, including the bin and body.

She said she noted access to the garage was not what someone would normally see and the lock on the door between the garage and house as controlled without a key from the inside of the garage, rather than the home.

She said she also processed the rest of the house and noticed the oven was on and there were what appeared to be sweet potato fries baking.

On cross examination, the investigator said she entered the home about 20 minutes after it was cleared by other police officers. She added she did not know if the door between the house and garage was locked or how police gained entry to the garage.

She added they did not take DNA or fingerprint samples from anything.

Prosecution Witness #7 - Police lieutenant

The seventh witness was a CCPD lieutenant in charge of the team that watched the Weaver's home while a search warrant was obtained.

He described seeing Kassceen leave the home as they watched it and said police followed him and then detained him when he arrived at his wife's work.

Prosecution Witness #8 - Medical examiner

The eighth witness was the medical examiner who did the autopsy on Adon.

He said his body was wrapped in clothing and bound and his body was in "an advanced state of decomposition".

He said an x-ray was done on Adon, but no injuries were found, but said that could have been because of the decomposition, his position, and the x-ray machine and it was not uncommon not to find anything.

He said on an external examination, Adon had a bruise on his knee. He said on an internal examination, he found Adon had two fracures on his skull -- one of each side of parietal bone.

He added the brain could not be examined, because of its advanced decomposition.

He said he also had suspicions of injuries to Adon's ribs, but had to consult with a forensic anthropologist on the issue. He added that children's ribs are more flexible than adult's and harder to break.

On defense cross examination, the examiner discussed variations in the body's appearance in photos shown in court and said the knee bruise could look worse than it did at the time of death.

He confirmed he did not see any injuries to Adon's scalp, only the fractures on the skull, and he had no suspicions like he did with the ribs. He also confirmed he found no apparent signs of hemorrhaging. He also confirmed a fracture is not what kills someone, but what happens inside the head.

On redirect from the prosecution, he said the fracture comes first and can cause bleeding in the head. He added it was not surprising to not find signs of hemorrhaging because of the level of decomposition.

Prosecution Witness #9 - Forensic anthropologist

The ninth and last new witness called to the stand Tuesday was the forensic pathologist who assisted the medical examiner with an autopsy on Adon.

She said CT scans of his skeleton provided to her and saw areas of concern of potential fractures in the right rib cage and near the right elbow.

She said he found five rib fractures on the right rib (ribs three-seven) that were more or less in a line under the armpit. She said the middle, or fifth, rib had signs that it was fractured when Adon was alive and was in the process of healing. She said the others likely happened around the time of his death and did not have signs of healing.

She said the right elbow had a torsion fracture in his right elbow and said those types of injuries occurred when an arm was grabbed and twisted.

She added in her expert opinion that the injuries were not accidental in nature because of the number of them.

She said she also checked the skeleton for disease and found none.

On cross examination, she confirmed she assessed the age of the victim to be four-to-five-years-old based on the development of the skeleton and 4.5-years-old based on his dental development and appeared to have normal development and did not suffer neglect.

When asked about the skull fractures, she said she could not determine when they happened but said, when asked, based on the amount of healing that had taken place they happened maybe ten months before Adon's death. She said it was caused by blunt force trauma, but said she did not know what caused the trauma.

As to the ribs, she said she could not determine the age of the age of the injury to the fifth rib (the one believed to have happened when Adon was alive). She said for the other four, they likely happened within a day of his death and added while it could have happened after his death, it was unlikely.

She added the elbow injury was older than the ribs, but younger than the skull injury.

On redirect, the anthropologist said on the question of neglect, she confirmed it was only referring to normal growth of the skeleton.

Witness recalled - Medical examiner

The prosecution then recalled the medical examiner and the prosecution asked if he had determined Adon's cause of death via his and the forensic anthropologist's investigation and he said it was multiple blunt force injuries.

On cross examination, the examiner was asked about the anthropologist's assessment of the skull fractures being at least ten months old and how that could have led to Adon's death. The examiner said the underlying tissue in the skull could have been impacted.

When asked why he did not determine that, he said it was because of the state of decomposition of the tissue. He then clarified there were no signs of acute or recent hemorrhaging, but he could not determine if there was historic hemorrhaging.

When asked what type of injury to the skull could take months to lead to death, the examiner said a few were possible and mentioned seizures as the primary. He added he could not examine Adon's brain for signs of seizure, again, because of its state of decomposition.

He said signs of seizure could present differently in different people and when asked how parents of a nonverbal child could spot that, he said it would be tough for him to say, but later added they could watch for signs of bruising. He added it was possible the victim could be fussy and there could be no way of knowing.

When asked, he did say it was possible to have a fracture cause no injury or for the body to recover.

As to the ribs, the examiner confirmed it would not be the fracture that causes death, but the underlying injury which could include pneumonia.

The examiner confirmed he was not told of chest compressions being applied to Adon by his parents and said compressions can cause rib fractures (and it was possible that happened to Adon), but added those fractures are not typically in the spot where Adon's were. On redirect, he said typical fractures are in the front of the rib cage.

He also confirmed it was possible the newer rib injuries could have happened minutes or hours after Adon died.

He was also asked if other possible causes of death were ruled out, such as an allergic reaction, pneumonia, cardiac event, or seizure. He said he could not rule them out and mentioned he could not test for them because of the state of decomposition and had no clinical history to review.

He also confirmed he could not say what caused the blunt force trauma.

On redirect, the examiner was asked what would the symptoms of a skull fracture be if it was ten weeks old and he said fussiness, headaches, and seizures. When asked, he said vomiting and passing out were possible symptoms.

He was again asked about no new signs of hemorrhaging in the brain and he said it was because of the state of decomposition or that it could have healed.

Day Three Expectations

Following the witness recall, the judge called for a recess for the day and the prosecution said they intended to rest their case Wednesday morning.

The defense indicated they will call at least one expert witness, but that person could not be in court until Thursday and they have not decided if Kassceen will take the stand in his own defense.

Eliel Adon Weaver.png

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