June 9th, 1999
Testimony from a half-dozen doctors convinced a judge that only violent shaking by Gordon Neil Singer could have caused the death of his 2 ½-year-old stepson, Cole John Thompson. Harder denied his guilt to the end, saying Cole fatally injured himself by hitting accidentally falling and his head against a carpeted floor during a tantrum on June 9, 1999. The judge at Thompson’s manslaughter trial was not persuaded, saying Cole’s significant brain injuries and retinal hemorrhage could only have been caused by a violent act on the stepfather’s part. Thompson received a four-year sentence.