Chad Emery Evans was wrongfully convicted in December, 2001 in New Hampshire of the murder of Kassidy Bortner, the 21-month old daughter of his girlfriend, Amanda Bortner. Chad was initially sentenced to 28 years-to-life, and an additional 15 years subsequently were added to his sentence by the New Hampshire Sentence Review Division, upon appeal by the New Hampshire Attorney General.
His website, www.chadevanswronglyconvicted.org was established in February 2010 with the goal of presenting all the available information relating to the tragic death of Kassidy Bortner on 9 November 2000. The causes of her death and her injuries are mysterious and disputed, but Chad was convicted of second degree murder. He was also convicted of related second-degree assault charges, and endangering the welfare of a child.
On 2 June 2000, Chad met Amanda Bortner and their love and relationship grew rapidly. By early July, Amanda and Kassidy were living at Chad's home in Rochester, New Hampshire. Chad's three-year old son, Kyle, also lived in the home several days a week, through shared custody with Chad's former wife, Tristan Wentworth Evans.
On the morning of 9 November 2000, Amanda took Kassidy to the Kittery, Maine home of her sister, Jennifer Bortner, and her sister's boyfriend, Jefferey Marshall, for babysitting for the day. Kassidy had a new bruise on one eye due to an accident the previous night when Chad was giving Kyle some batting practice with a brown plastic bat in Kyle's bedroom just before bedtime. While wiffle balls were usually used for such fun, the ball that Kyle hit into Kassidy's eye was a ball used in "Tee-ball" leagues. During his police interview on 9 November, Chad described the ball as a "hard rubber ball" and a "starter baseball."
The resulting bruise to Kassidy's left eye was the latest of a series of bruises which had been observed by many people during the fall of 2000. In a time of growing sensitivity to child abuse, most of the responsible adults close to Kassidy chose to believe that the bruises and injuries were unfortunate accidents, and that they didn't require medical care right away. The life-threatening severity of the injuries was not known or suspected by anyone. Tragically, those adults, including Chad Evans, were unaware that there was something very wrong with Kassidy.
Chad Evans never spanked nor hit Kassidy Bortner. He loved and cared for her. He passed a lie detector test given in July 2010.
Shortly after Noon on the 9th, Jeff Marshall checked on Kassidy and recognized that she was in trouble and seemingly lifeless; and he made several phone calls for help. The EMT's and Kittery Police arrived quickly, but Kassidy was dead when they arrived.
As the man living with Kassidy's mother, Amanda Bortner, Chad Evans was one of the four initial suspects, with the others being Amanda, Jeff, and Jennifer. By the time of Chad's 7:10 p.m. interview with the police, and within about six hours of Kassidy's death, the police were focused entirely on Chad; and worked thereafter to build the case against him. The case attracted considerable media attention, but Chad's attorneys advised him to say nothing to reporters. At his December 2001 trial, Chad took his attorneys' advice not to testify, and his attorneys decided to call only one defense witness. They called the nationally renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, as they thought his testimony was sufficient to establish the reasonable doubt needed for a not-guilty verdict. However, their assessment was wrong, and the jury found Chad guilty of most of the charges. When Chad was sentenced, he again took his attorneys' advice not to proclaim his innocence, in order to avoid angering Judge Tina Nadeau. Chad expressed sincere regret for his actions, by which he meant his failure to do more to help Kassidy. Nonetheless, Judge Nadeau chastised him for showing insufficient remorse, at least until the day of sentencing.
In November, 2002, Amanda Bortner was tried and found guilty of two counts of child endangerment and sentenced to two years in jail.
As of December, 2010, Chad Evans has been in the New Hampshire State Prison for nine years for crimes he didn't commit.
We seek to persuade New Hampshire's Governor, John Lynch and the Attorney General, Michael Delaney, to re-investigate this case, whereupon it will be found that two tragic wrongful convictions occurred: of Chad Evans and Amanda Bortner.