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Gloucester couple found guilty of child abuse for second time

Posted at 11:22 AM, May 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-22 17:16:21-04

Gloucester County, Va. - The homicide charges against a Gloucester couple for the 2008 death of their infant son were dismissed on Friday and they were found guilty on the remaining charges against them.

Brian and Shannon Gore are already serving 30 years in prison for nearly starving their daughter to death. They both faced homicide and child abuse charges for the death of their son, Connor. That trial started Monday.

Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On Friday, the defense made a motion to strike down the homicide charges against the Gore's. A judge granted that motion. Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Megan Zwisohn said the judge ruled that there wasn't enough evidence proven by the Commonwealth that shows that Connor's death was a result of the abuse.

However, they were both found guilty of the child abuse charges they were facing in addition to the homicide charge.

Authorities discovered the Gore’s infant son Connor's remains buried under the Gore’s shed in 2011, when they also found their daughter locked in a makeshift cage, naked and malnourished.

The boy's remains were taken to the Smithsonian to help determine how he died after a local medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death.

During the first several days of the trial, Dr. Douglas Owsley, curator at the Smithsonian's Division of Physical Anthropology, testified that when he examined Connor's remains, he found that Connor suffered from a fractured skull while he was alive and that his bones were smaller than they should be and so malnourished they appeared porous and even translucent in parts.

Dr. Owsley said that in his years as a doctor, he has examined thousands of skeletons, but testified that he had never seen anything this bad when referring to how porous Connor's bones were.

"This child was not getting enough to eat," he said.

Dr. Owsley also said Connor's skull was deformed and flattened in the back from spending long periods of time on his back.

According to the Commonwealth, the Gore's had both of their children in secret. It was revealed that Shannon gave birth to Connor in August of 2007, along in the living room of their trailer.

Investigators testified that she read instructions on "Babysitter.com" on what to expect from the home birth and used sterilized scissors to cut the umbilical cord.

In March of 2008, detectives say Brian found Connor in his crib with a blanket over his face and not breathing. Despite attempts at CPR, Brian told them his son was dead.

For days they say Shannon held Connor until the couple finally decided to bury him, swaddled in a blanket in the backyard.

The Gore's will be sentenced on July 22nd.

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