ROSEBURG, Ore. (KMTR) - Mark Vanderhoof is on trial for murder at the Douglas County Courthouse for killing his girlfriend's two-year-old son in 2011.
Court officials say 52-year-old Mark Vanderhoof is charged with four counts of murder.
Police say Vanderhoof was watching two-year-old Dennis Young, also known as Bubba, alone on January 25, 2011, when he called Young's mother, Briana Snow. Vanderhoof told Snow to come home immediately because the boy had fallen off the porch and hit his head. Police say when Snow came home, she found her son unconscious. She called 911 and the boy was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg.
Young was eventually transferred to Doernbecher Children's Hospital at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland because of the severity of his head injuries. Police took Vanderhoof into custody on January 26, 2011 because they say the head injuries did not match his story.
Today marks the second day of the trial. Douglas County Circuit Judge Ronald Poole will determine the verdict of the trial, since Vanderhoof waived his right to a jury.
Today's testimony includes a video recorded police interview with Vanderhoof on the day he was arrested. In the recording, Vanderhoof told police that he intentionally hit the boy, but he did not mean to hurt him as badly as he did.
"The act was on purpose; you can't deny that," stated an unnamed officer in the footage.
Vanderhoof responds: "The act itself, yes, it was on purpose. But it was not to be intently that . . . "
"Severe?" the officer interrupts.
"Yes," Vanderhoof answers.
The Douglas County's Sheriff's Office says Young's injuries were so severe that he was on life support at OHSU. According to the video interview shown in court today, Young was unresponsive on January 26, 2011. Snow eventually made the difficult decision of taking him off life support and Young was pronounced dead after midnight on January 28, 2011.
Douglas County court officials say they do not know how long the trial will last, but it will continue tomorrow at 9:30 AM.