Prosecution: Abusive head trauma killed Ryder Morrison

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- KEPR is continuing to following the trial of a Richland nanny charged with killing a baby in her care.

Kelli Jacobsen sat quietly Monday as a medical examiner explained every injury found on Ryder Morrison's body.

Dr. Daniel Selove was the one called in after Ryder Morrison died.
An expert in examining children's bodies, he determined what killed the one year old.

"Cause of death was abusive head trauma," he said.

The closer Dr. Selove looked, he says he found more evidence of past abuse. This includes bruises and broken blood vessels deep in the tissue of his arms, broken bones that were weeks old. The doctor testified these injuries couldn't have happened by accident.

He said, "Not fractured in the course of everyday events of a 12 month old."

The defense plans to argue the injury that ultimately killed Ryder could have happened up to a day in advance. Dr. Selove doesn't think so. He says he found severe bruises at the base of Ryder's neck telling the doctor the boy had been shaken. But it was a blow to the head that caused his death a short time later.

"The injury had occurred shortly before the 911 call and that the condition was rapidly progressing," Selove said.

The defense chalked it up to junk science. Using a chart to keep track of all the injuries it confused the witness in the process.

Dr. Selove said, "I do understand the question but I don't believe that I testified that some studies say more than 15 hours."

The defense plans to call its own expert who reviewed Ryder's injuries.

Defense attorney, Scott Johnson, asked, "Would you agree that there is controversy surrounding shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma? The doctor replied, "I certainly agree."

The defense is hoping to prove its case that Kelli Jacobsen is not guilty of aggravated manslaughter for the death of a one-year old.

The trial is set to last two more weeks.

The defense has suggested Ryder's mom may be responsible for his injuries or that we will likely never know what caused the blow that led to his death.