Trial Begins in Laramie Daycare Child Abuse Case
The trial began today for a Laramie woman accused of abusing an eight-month-old boy at her home daycare last year.
Mishawnna Jennings stand accused of Aggravated Child Abuse, which is punishable of up to 25 years imprisonment.
During opening statements in Albany County District Court, Prosecutor Kurt Britzius said that what happened on November 5, 2014 was “every parent’s worst nightmare.” He described how the baby was dropped off at the Jennings residence as a young boy with no visible injuries and nothing out of the ordinary. Around 3:00 that afternoon, though, the boy’s mother received a call saying something was wrong. The boy was brought to the emergency room at Ivinson Memorial Hospital, where doctors found a subdural hematoma, or pooling of blood outside the brain.
The investigation led police to believe that the boy was injured during the time he was under Jennings’ care.
Prosecutors say evidence shows that Jennings purposefully hurt the boy.
Defense attorney Nancy Mullin painted a different picture to the jury. She said that Jennings notified the mother as soon as she noticed anything was wrong.
“What this case is about is a rush to judgement,” said Mullin.
She said that the boy’s parents, police, and state prosecutors all quickly jumped to the conclusion that the baby was injured by Jennings, and she urged the jury not to make the same mistake.
She said that the boy actually had two subdural hematomas, both of which were caused at separate times. She argued that the injuries were not from abuse, but rather from a chronic condition.
Mullin also stated that video of an interrogation will show that Jennings repeatedly denied hurting the baby. She said Jennings denied the accusation in a variety of ways over 55 times during the two hour video.
The trial is scheduled to finish on Thursday.