Saturday, December 20, 2008


NOTE: I want to thank the hundreds of Russian-language readers who are reading Bastardette and Nikto Ne Zabyt regarding Dima. . Thank you very much for your friendship and support and caring about adopted Russia's adopted children in the US.


I still can find no official statement regarding the Harrison verdict on the Russian Embassy or the Foreign Ministry pages.

A press release from the Ministry of Education and Science is now on the ministry's English-language page:

The justificatory verdict casts doubt on effectiveness and reliability of the protection of adopted children's rights system in the USA and will result in toughening the requirements to Russian children's adoption by USA citizens. We must be sure that our children's rights are entirely protected in this country; and if a tragic incident happens, even because of an action by accident, severe punishment will be inevitable", - stressed A. Levitskaya.

WUVR: Voice of Russia Broadcasting (English)
December 18, 2008 (English)
US Adoption System in Need of Review

The Virginia Court’s decision went virtually unnoticed in the US media, but it was give high prominence in Russia’s media which overwhelmingly deplored the court’s ruling... This horrible case prompts obvious questions. How could a grow-up person believed to be in his right mind could be so careless as to leave an infant in mortal danger even for a minute? And if the man isn’t in his right mind, how was it possible for his family to adopt a child in the first place?

Russia Today (English)
December 18, 2008
Moscow outraged over adopted Russian boy manslaughter

Russian Foreign Ministry says it's outraged by the decision to clear Miles Harrison, who left the baby in a car during blazing summer heat.

Due to spacing problems, I am posting the English-language video news report that goes with this article at the bottom of this entry.

Over at the Washington Post there's a civilized discussion about Marc Fisher's column Why Was Father of Who Killed Son in Car Acquitted? AND a survey on the verdict. As I write this, only 51% disagree with Judge Ney and the acquittal.

As much as the father has suffered, and as much as he proved in court that he truly did love and adore that boy, Judge Terrence Ney's decision unjustly fails to hold Harrison accountable for his negligence. Just because someone who does wrong feels terribly about his misdeed does not absolve the justice system of its responsibility to hold all of us to a standard of decent behavior... and

It's hard for me to see how anyone, parent or not, could conclude that leaving a child unattended for a full day in a steamy hot car--essentially forgetting about the existence of the life that you have been entrusted with protecting and cherishing--could be chalked up to accident.

One Response:
Outrageous, but not surprising. Take this scenario and change the economic circumstances of the parents to poor or working class. Or change the social characteristics to or black. There would have been a different decision. Judges don't like to punish people who they perceive as good, except for one 'mistake.' The law is interpreted favorably for the 'right' kind of people. The 'wrong' kind of people know this, which explains their low opinion of and trust in the justice system.

Finally, Baby Love Child has written a tremendously important blog on why the Harrison case IS about adoption: Dmitry's Death and Miles Harrison's Acquittal, Part II, The American Reaction. . Part 3 just went up, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

She has quoted part of it in her comment posted on my previous blog, but I want to put an excerpt here:

...the American audience fails to understand the important responsibilities an adoptive couple take on when they sign on to adopting a child. Perhaps the primary difference between a child in an adoptive situation and children born to their parents is that adoptive families are on some level (allegedly at least) vetted. They have agreed to take on the task of raising a child that is not biologically their own. They have had to prove that they will make “fit” parents to the child that will eventually come to be placed with them. When they sign the adoption papers, they have intentionally taken on the responsibility for that child. Add in the international adoption component, in the case of Russian adoptees, they retain their Russian citizenship, and what you have is essentially, an American couple that has jumped through enough hoops as to agree to take on not only raising a child who is not their own flesh and blood, but is additionally a citizen of another country. This carries with it many responsibilities, above and beyond what biological parents face. Be that reporting obligations back to the country of origin, or obligations to be attentive, and to provide safety and security. Adoptive parents sign their names to promises pertaining to the ongoing disposition and welfare of the child they are adopting.


It is clear that Moscow isn't happy and intends to take a hard line on this judicial miscarriage. The Russian government and the media are watching and reporting on the case carefully including the apparent non-interest outside the Beltway. (Obviously, if the Harrisons had lived somewhere else and weren't Washington Somebodies, WDC wouldn't be paying much attention either. (ex: The recent Emelyantsev case in Utah). I expect to see repercussions from this American folly that go way beyond adoption. US officials have used international adoption in the past as leverage to push other countries around, but this time, they might just get a kick in the pants back.

By the way, there has been no comment from European Adoption Consultants, who handled the adoptions of Chase and Logan Higginbotham (scroll down) and who ended up dead when her forever mother cracked her skull open on a bedroom wall.l But they sure have been reading what I have to say about them.

ADDENDA: December 20, 6:30 PM: I no sooner posted this entry when a story from WJLA-TV came through, Adoptive Parents Worry After Loudon Man is Acquitted in Son's Death. It should be titled Adoption Industry and Adoptive Parents Worry... The usual ME ME ME with absolutely no comprehension of what went down at Fairfax Courthouse or a care for Dima. The article has a link to the video, which has much more impact than the written story.

Russia Today Video:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


NOTE: For a complete listing of my entries on the Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison case go to "labels" in the right sidebar and click on "Dmitry Yakolev" or "Chase Harrison." The same articles are archived under both names. Also, for international readers, at the top of this page is a link to the Reverso translator.

Over the last couple days some commenters have observed that the Yakolev/Harrison case is not so much about adoption, but a sad commentary on American life: that a child, adopted or not, can be forgotten in a hot car and die, while parents go about their hectic lives forgetting what they did with him or her. In a general sense, I don't disagree with this. The dead baby in the hot/cold car is largely an American phenomenon. In fact, I wrote in my previous blog:

Yet Dima, who died in part, because of the wacky American consumer lifestyle, deserves justice, which has not been served him. Privileged workaholic exburanites do not always good parents make, even with their open checkbooks.

Russia, however, doesn't view Dima's death as an American lifestyle dysfunction. The verdict is viewed instead as an American adoption dysfunction and a miscarriage of justice that calls into question the status and rights of adopted children--Russian citizens-- in the US. For some, the argument extends to all children adopted and living in the US.

Earlier today I wrote about the Russian reaction and one implication to the verdict--a toughened post-placement policy for US adopters. But things have heated up considerably since this afternoon. Ministries and the Russian press have ramped up the attack I suggest you go to my previous blog as background and then come back here.

Here is the update.

Pravda via ITAR-Tass, under the headline US man who made adopted son die terrible death in hot car found not guilty, quotes Russian Embassy press secretary Yevgeny Khorishko:

It is an open secret that US courts often use exemption law in their practice. This is exactly the reason why Miles Harrison avoided a prison term. The Supreme Court of the State of Virginia ruled in 1930 that a person, who incidentally murders another person, even if he or she can be accused of negligence, shall not be considered a criminal if his or her negligence is not the consequence of complete disdain for human life...

We suggest the US authorities should appeal against the blatant ruling, which relieves the murderer of the juvenile Russian citizen of responsibility. The unfair verdict must be revised...

We do not understand, what was guiding the judge when he found no formal element of a crime in the actions of the adoptive father and relived him of punishment. We know how strict US laws are when it comes to the protection of children’s rights. In this case, however, we do not understand the gentleness, which the judge showed to the man, who had left the little boy locked up in his car to die a terrible death in sweltering summer heat.

Stronger criticism comes from the Russian Foreign Ministry. The complete statement does not appear yet on the Foreign Ministry English-language webpage, but excerpts were quoted in today's Loudoun (Virgina) Times which went online tonight: Not guilty verdict of Purcellville man could become international incident

The child, originally named Dmitry Yakolev and later re-named Chase Harrison, was adopted from Russia at a cost to the Harrisons of about $80,000. At the time of his death the toddler was still a Russian citizen, according to the Russian Embassy.

"He would have remained a Russian citizen until he reached legal age, at which time he could renounce his citizenship if he chose," said Yevgeniiy Khorishko, press secretary for the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC. "It is just awful that the person who killed this child has been pardoned," Khorishko added.

On Dec. 18, Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned Harrison's acquittal in an official statement, "We are deeply angered by the verdict of the Fairfax County Court in Virginia. We consider it to be repulsive and unprecedented, even if in this case--unlike in others--it was criminal negligence thqt led to a tragic outcome, rather than deliberate ill-treatment. The decision of the judge, who did not see the crime in Harrison's actions and released him without penalty, goes beyond any legal and moral framework," it stated.

And here is a report from The Moscow Times, December 19, 2008: Tough new rules for adoptive US parents featuring Alina Levitskaya from the Ministry of Education and Science and State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov:

Russia tightened controls over adoptions a few years ago after several children died at the hands of U.S. parents, and Wednesday's acquittal will lead to a further clampdown, said Alina Levitskaya, head of the Education and Science Ministry's child welfare department. The verdict "casts doubts" on adopted children's rights in the United States and "will lead to a tightening of requirements for the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens," Levitskaya said in a statement on the ministry's web site...

Yevgeny Khorishko, spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington, said U.S. authorities should appeal the "grievous court ruling acquitting the murderer of an infant Russian citizen," Interfax reported.

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said he was "disturbed" by the verdict and that Russia should do everything in its power to make adoption a more attractive option for Russian families. "We need Russian children to stay in Russia," Gryzlov told Interfax.

The article also describes domestic adoption practices and policies.

The Harrison verdict is intimately linked to adoption.
Tonight NCFA tried out some damage control: National Council for adoption calls for calm and rational response to Harrison verdict. Acting NCFA president Chuck Johnson acknowledges that it may be difficult to "accept the verdict as appropriate and just,"


NCFA encourages a calm and rational response to the verdict, and hopes that the Russian government will continue to work with the United States government and the American adoption community to keep the adoption process between Russia and the United States transparent, safe and successful for the benefit of thousands of Russian-born children. Those who would suffer most from a disruption of Russian adoptions are the thousands of innocent orphans who otherwise would have been adopted into loving American homes.

In other words, things don't look too good! Don't call us; we'll call you!

BLOGGER ALERT: Johnson's statement included this most hilarious quotable NCFA quote since Dr. Pierce darkened its door:

Let me assure the international community that adoptive parents in the United States have the same responsibilities to their adopted children as do biological parents to their biological children.

Dima's death is about adoption, though Americans, too close to the issue, don't see it.
The acquittal is fast becoming a cause celebre. Since yesterday's verdict I've received hundreds of hits on both The Daily Bastardette and Nikko Ne Zabyt. Many of them from Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tula, Smolensk, Kazan, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Spasskova, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg,), Ukraine (Lviv, Kiev, Kharkov ,Krivoy Rog, Simferopol), Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Israel, Hungary, Denmark, and Slovenia. I've had over 200 hits from a Russian discussion group on Live Journal. My next project is to try to translate the discussion.

ADDENDA: December 21, 2008, 1:55 PM: I learned as per the comment below that the discussion group which I referred to is actually the blog of Russia's most famous science fiction writer Sergey Lukyanenko, and that he has been writing about the case. I hope this blog and the identical entries which appear on The Daily Bastardetete, have been helpful to him and his readers. I'm honored! Thanks.


NOTE: For a complete listing of my entries on the Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison case go to "labels" in the right sidebar and click on "Dmitry Yakolev" or "Chase Harrison." The same articles are archived in both. Also, for international readers, at the top of this page is a link to the Reverso translator.

I have seen no direct online confirmation from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, but according to reports from the English language editions of RIA Novistii and Interfax, the Russian government may toughen its adoption rules for the US in the wake of the acquittal of Miles Harrison. Harrison was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter yesterday in the death of Dmitry Yakolev, whom Harrison and his wife Carol were adopting. Last July, Dima died of heat-related injuries after being left strapped in his car seat for 9 hours in Harrison's SUV while Harrison worked. Harrison claimed he "forgot"to drop the boy off at daycare and "didn't know" he was in the car. How Harrison, "didn't know" Dima was in the SUV when he put him in the vehicle to take him to daycare is tricky legal semantics left for another discussion.

From RIA Novistii:

"We are outraged by the court ruling and believe it to be totally unjust and unacceptable," Alina Levitskaya (right) was quoted by the Education and Science Ministry as saying. "It questions the reliability of the U.S. system of protection of adopted children's rights, and will lead to tougher requirements for U.S. nationals in Russia."

Levitskaya said the ministry would demand that authorities in the United States step up monitoring of children adopted from Russia. She said the education ministry and the Russian Embassy in the United States would seek a guilty verdict for Harrison.

I have no idea what Levitskaya means in the last sentence. Harrison cannot be retried on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Lawyers reading this can clarify, but I believe that other charges, which should have been filed initially as lesser included charges with the involuntary manslaughter charge, could be filed now. For reasons I'll discuss in a later entry, I don't believe that will happen.

The Ministry of Education and Science so far remains silent on what these toughened requirements might be except for increased post-placement monitoring of Russian children and their adoptive families.

Toughening of any kind, post-placement or otherwise, will take place in a maelstrom of ugly protest, finangling, and pressure from adoption agency trade organizations such as the National Council for Adoption, the Joint Council, adoption lawyers and Quad A, adopters, potential adoptive parents (paps) , and the State Department. On the other side we'll get the same from Russian nationalists, child welfare advocates, various Russian ministries, and the Russian public at large who are seriously stirred up at the Harrison verdict. Change won't happen next week, but I can already hear the cry: "The Russians are holding my child hostage!"

In 2007, the US and Russia agreed to tougher post-placement requirements that mandate periodic checks on children placed in the US.

According to the US State Department:


What does Russia require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

Adopted Russian children must be registered with the Government of Russia either by registering with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before they leave the country or by working with their adoption agency to register their adopted children with the G.O.R. when they return to the U.S. If registering prior to departing Russia. U.S. citizen families should do this after an adopted child has received an immigrant visa to the United States.

Russia requires periodic post-adoption placement reports on the welfare of the adopted orphan in his or her American family. The initial post-placement report is due six months after the court decision went into effect. The second report is due six months after the first report but no later than 12 months after the court decision. The third report is due at 24 months and the fourth at 36 months.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Russia and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with American parents.

Clearly, there are no teeth in this requirement. The Russian government won't and can't re-take custody of children whose adopters refuse to comply with the rules--even when those rules are written into individual valid adoption contracts. US and state governments have no interest or legal right to disrupt adoptions over post-placement non-compliance.

The onus of compliance falls , then, on adoption agencies to squeeze their non-compliant clients to act in "the best interest of the child" which really means the best interest of the agencies and the best interests of the agencies' meal tickets, adopters and paps, who will be cut out if enough of XYZ Agency's clients tell the Russians to bugger off. The chances of an agency filing a civil claim over contractual non-compliance is nil. Of course, if the non-compliant have another bun in the agency oven, the agency can turn around and use its tried and true methods of threats and blackmail to go compliant. (see Beware BBAS for a rundown on those practices.)

Also important to know is that Russian follow-up procedures and records are in great disarray, so in the end not much of anybody actually knows what's going on.

John Towriss, Adoption Today Washington Bureau Chief, describes the non-compliance problem in his June/July 2007 Adoption Today article, American Attitudes Exposed.[pdf]

Adoption Today spoke with several groups in the adoption community from national umbrella organizations to adoption agencies to adoptive parents. While Americans can be so compassionate in adopting children, once they are home many speak of a change of attitude that reflect the American sense of freedom and individual rights. Several in the field suggested to Adoption Today that new laws in Russia have as much to do with the problem of post-placement reports as anything else.

One described it as "The arrogant American attitude that no government agency is going to tell me how to raise my children." Another put it even more bluntly, "Yes there will be no government agency that will come and take your child away for not filing a post-placement report, but you will be responsible for causing many other children to lose their chance of being adopted."

Yet another said, "It's almost a cavalier attitude, that I'm an American and no foreign country is going to tell me what to do.

Some time ago I heard rumblings that the Russian government was considering upping post-placement investigations until the child is 18. I like this idea and believe that Russia and other countries should mandate continuous post-placement in US placements. You can imagine the uproar on the US side if American children were being placed and killed in Russia. As long as the US adoption industry plays, it oughtta pay. But that will be a tough plane to fly.

While expanded post-placement investigations are a good idea, the Russian government first needs to take a closer look at US agencies working in their own country. The US State Department posts a list of all Hague accredited agencies on its Intercountry Adoption page, but the Russian Federation itself approves US agencies on that list to work within its borders. Some of the Hague accredited agencies on the State Department list are quite horrifying to those of us in the trenches. Also noteworthy, unlike most other Hague signatories whose rules and regulations are about ethical practice, "child's best interest," and identity rights, US regs [pdf] (go to Vol 71, No. 31, and type in "Hague") are mostly about who cuts up the fat accreditation money pie, how agencies can cover their ass, and Homeland Security confiscation of international adoptee records and identity. "Best interest" recommendations to reg writers by numerous agencies, organizations (including Bastard Nation) and individuals were ignored.

I'd like to see The Ministry of Education and Science and any other Russian ministry involved in adoption as well as US investigatory agencies re-investigate immediately, the money-grubbing Margaret Cole and her European Adoption Consultants, the agency that placed Dima with the Harrisons for, according to Carol Harrison, a whopping $70-$80,000. See my entries here (the most important), here and here for other EAC comments. EAC got off the hook after the Dima's death, but there's no reason it should stay off. (Note to Levitskaya: check greasy palms).

(For more on EAC click on "European Adoption Consultants" in the "labels' sidebar to the right.)

EAC also placed Logan Higanbotham (scroll down) who ended up dead when her forever mother Laura Hitganbotham "accidently" cracked open the baby's skull on a bedroom wall. Higanbotham did 1 year on involuntary manslaughter charges. She divorced, remarried, and now has a biological daughter. Another adopted Russian daughter continues to live with her.

The Yakolev/Harrison case is tragic. I want to make it clear that I do not put Dima's death in the same category as the cases of Russian adoptees who have been molested, tortured, and murdered by their forever families. Yet Dima, who died in part, because of the wacky American consumer lifestyle, deserves justice, which has not been served him. Privileged workaholic exburanites do not always good parents make, even with their open checkbooks. ( see No Justice for Dmitry for the justice discussion.)

I am pessimistic about dismantling much of the current adoption machine. Unfortunately, the right to someone else's child has become part of the American psyche. The first step in getting a modicum of justice for the adopted of any age and their families--especially those who have been egregiously harmed-- is to acknowledge that adoption practice in the US is driven by money, greed, and the commodification of children for profit. Certainly there are children in need of adoptive homes, but at what price to them and the rest of us? Only when and if that question wheedles its way into the American psyche might things begin to change.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This just in.

This morning Miles Harrison was acquitted on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his adopted 21 month old son Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison. The baby died July 8 when he was left strapped in a car seat for 9 hours in 90+ degree heat while Harrison worked in his office just yards away.

From the Washington Post:

Miles Harrison, 49, collapsed to his knees moments after Fairfax Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney declared that Harrison's conduct did not meet the legal standard for manslaughter. Ney noted that Harrison was, prior to July 8, an unquestionably devoted father to Chase Harrison, the 21-month-old Russian boy he and his wife had been adopted just three months earlier.

"The only true atonement here can only take place within his heart and soul," Ney said, "and he's very fortunate that he's been supported by such a strong and loving family, friends, co-workers and neighbors."

The standard under Virginia law for involuntary manslaughter is "negligence so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a callous disregard for human life." Ney concluded, "The court does not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the elements of involuntary manslaughter have been met. For this reason, the defendant is found not guilty."

Judge Ney added that "no prison term is going to cause more pain than that which he has already suffered."

Prosecutors like to pile on charges to at least get a conviction for something. I'm wondering why this prosecutor put all the eggs in the basket and didn't go for lesser included charges such as child endangerment. I'll go back and see if I have anything on file to indicate that other charges were filed, but I don't believe they were.

I still find it incomprehensible that Harrison "forgot" the baby was in his SUV. According to WaPo, prosecutor Katherine E. Stott said that Harrison had dropped off Dmitry/Chase at daycare several times the previous week, so the daycare stop was not a new experience. The day of the baby's death, besides stopping at the a dry cleaners on the way to work, Stott said that Harrison had also made 13 cell phones calls on his way to work with Dmitry/Chase in the car.

I will be adding comments to this entry as the day goes on, but I wanted to get it out now.

People have been convicted and sentenced to hard time for a lot less than this.


December 17, 2008, 1:52 PM: WJLA Noon News video, (right sidebar) including short interview with Harrison's sister.

December 17, 2008, 2:26 PM: Washington Fox News. Go to the "video" sidebar to the right bottom of the story. You may have to go through another story before you get to live report.

December 17, 2008: 2:32 PM: RIA Novisti (English language)

December 17, 2008, 2:41 PM: Here is a piece from National Public Radio on the current state of adoption in Russia both international and domestic. Excerpt: But while Russia remains a leading source for foreign adoptions, Russian authorities are no longer so willing to send their children out of the country. Only about 1,800 Russian children were adopted by Americans this year — down from a high of almost 6,000 in 2004.

December 17, 2008, 4:32 PM: This is an article from the Dec. 14 Washington Examiner which I didn't see until this afternoon. It describes some of the testimony that has not been covered in other media.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Miles Harrison's motion to dismiss the charges against him was denied this morning.

From today's Washington Post:

But Fairfax Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney noted this morning that Harrison had placed Chase in the vehicle and stopped at a dry cleaners on the way to work, and ruled that "the Commonwealth has met her burden of showing a prima facie case for involuntary manslaughter.

Baby Love Child has blogged on this aspect of the trial and commented on the WaPo article which expands the coverage from the initial article I posted last night. It also describes the defense's "strategy" to get Harrison off. Incredibly, Harrison has spent a bazillion dollars on upscale Peter Greenspun's defense argument that he's not guilty of neglect much less involuntary manslaughter, because none of his witnesses testified that Harrison knew the boy was in his SUV. Huh?

Rather than reinventing the wheel, I suggest you got over to BLC and read her comments and analysis, with which I agree.

Speaking of comments, a really offensive comment ( I hate that term, but I don't know what other way to describe it other than barmy) was posted this afternoon in the Post:

rpcv84 wrote:

I propose letting Harrison adopt again and seeing if his behavior becomes a pattern.

12/16/2008 2:26:12 PM

Outside of this being a facetious comment, which I doubt, I can only conclude that adoptees, especially from other countries, are expendable lab rats to be used in testing the competence of paps and adopters. If they don't continue to kill their kids, then they're free to keep them and adopt a few more.

I like to think nothing surprises me any more. Then rpcv comes along.

The Russian press has begun to report on the Harrison trial. I've had ,several hits from the Russian media and this article appeared in the Russian language Gazetta.

No updates from later in the day have have come across my screen yet. When they do, I'll post them.

ADDENDA: 11/16/2008 11:18: Here is a link to a WTTG-TV news video on today's court proceedings.

According to Carol Harrison's testimony the couple spent $70-$80,000 to adopt Dmitry! No mention in the news of what this all covered, but I'm flumoxed! $70-80,000? Did this all go to European Adoption Consultants?

Monday, December 15, 2008



The trial of Miles Harrison, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his adopted Russian son, Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison, 21 months, started today in Faixfax, Virginia. Harrison, in what I believe was a smart move for him, waived his right to a jury trial. His case is being heard from the bench. On July 8, Harrison, left the recently placed Dmitry, strapped in a car seat in his parked SUV at work for approximately 9 hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 91 degree temperature outside means that the inside of the Yukon could have reached 180 degrees.

The defense scheduled 37 witnesses to testify to Harrison's character. Co-workers told the court he collapsed in the parking lot when Dmitry was discovered with the words, "I killed my son. I killed my son." Harrison did not take the stand, but wept throughout the day.

Information, which I have not seen earlier, came out during today's trial. Harrison, as some of us suspected, was not accustomed to taking Dmitry to daycare-- a job his wife Carol, an executive with Homeland Security, usually handled.

Then this astounding revelation: on the way to work, with Dmitry in tow, Harrison remembered to drop off clothes at the dry cleaners AND he remembered to grab his backpack with his work materials from the front seat of the car, just inches away from Dmitry! But he didn't remember Dmitry.

A representative from the Russian embassy is sitting in on the trial. No word on European Adoption Consultants, who disappeared Dmitry/Chase from its webpage months ago.

The judge is expected to come back with a verdict tomorrow morning.

At this posting, coverage from WJLA-TV, WDC, is the only substantial online news on the trial. Russia Today offers a very short piece. You can watch the WJLA news report on the trial at the station site above.

You can full find coverage of this case on this blog.

December 16, 2008, 11:54 AM: ADDENDA: Here is some clarification on yesterday's WJLA's report on the Miles Harrison trial, reported above. That report suggested that the judge would be rendering a verdict this morning, but maybe not.

Harrison's attorney moved for dismissal yesterday, which is what the judge is expected to rule on this morning.

The motion to dismiss the charge came at the end of the prosecution’s case. If Judge R. Terence Ney denies the motion, Harrison’s trial will continue. The case is being heard without a jury.