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Natalie Fabian Evans testifies in her murder trial


Natalie Fabian Evans testifies in her murder trial

MURDER TRIAL: Denies violently shaking or hurting adopted son Luke

Date posted online: Friday, June 30, 2006

CROWN POINT | Natalie Fabian Evans cradled her arms as if holding a baby and rocked them ever so gently, saying "Luke. Luke. Luke. Oh, my God."

That's how the former Lowell woman described for jurors how she scooped up her adopted 16-month-old trying to arouse him after he hit his head on the tub.

Earlier in the trial in which Fabian Evans pleaded not guilty to murder, a University of Chicago social worker testified the young mother admitted she shook Luke trying to revive him.

The boy died Nov. 30, 2001, of severe brain trauma that doctors who examined him said was caused by violent shaking.

Fabian Evans described working diligently with Luke to encourage his development in the months after she brought him home in May 2001. She shared friends' concerns that Luke regressed rather than progressed as children should.

Despite her husband's resistance, in November 2001 Fabian Evans changed doctors and enrolled Luke in a therapy program designed to help his development.

The two days prior to Luke's injury, he didn't take his usual nap and was eating poorly, Fabian Evans said.

After spending most of the day away from home, Fabian Evans returned with her boys about 8 p.m. She put her older son to bed while her husband rocked Luke. After 20 minutes, Luke was still crying so he put him in the crib, Fabian Evans said.

When she last looked in on Luke he was laying on his stomach rubbing his eyes.

Her husband got up the next morning at 3 a.m. He kept his clothes in Luke's bedroom, she said in response to her attorney's question.

"You're not suggesting in any way Steve Evans caused his death?" Nick Thiros said.

"No," Fabian Evans barely whispered.

On cross-examination, Fabian Evans said in spite of earlier testimony that she described Luke as unresponsive or floppy when she tried to wake him, she just thought he was sleepy. That's why she put him in the tub.

When Fabian Evans dressed Luke and tried to feed him after taking him out of the tub, she did it to stall for time, Deputy Prosecutor Kathleen O'Halloran said.

"You knew you hurt him and were stalling, hoping he'd wake up," O'Halloran said.

"I didn't do anything to Luke," Fabian Evans said.

O'Halloran pointed out that despite Fabian Evans' concerns about Luke, after his initial doctor visits she didn't have a physician see him from June 15 until Nov. 7, 2001.

2006 Jun 30