Jacobsen manslaughter trial begins in Benton County
After nearly two years of questions and court hearings, a Richland nanny accused of killing a one-year child goes on trial today.
The prosecuting attorney believes Kelli Anne Jacobsen is responsible for Ryder Morrison's death in June 2011, while she was watching over him.
But this morning, Jacobsen's attorney tried to cast doubt on the prosecution's allegations, saying Ryder's mother or some unknown issues may have played a role in the death.
The story is just starting to unfold as the first group of witnesses began testifying today.
Shelly Goldstein was working as a registered nurse at Kadlec Regional Medical Center on June 22, 2011 - the day Ryder Morrison died.
She says while she was in the ER that day, she heard Ryder's nanny Kelli Anne Jacobsen, say something that sounded a bit odd.
"I heard her say, I cannot believe I did this" said Goldstein.
Goldstein also testified that she remembered another comment from Jacobsen after a doctor asked her questions about what happened to Ryder.
"She had stated, does this mean I'm in trouble" said Goldstein.
Jacobsen is charged with manslaughter in Ryder's death, and today, her trial began in Benton County Superior Court to see if she's to blame for what happened to the child.
We know Jacobsen was watching Ryder that day at his Richland home - and her attorney says just after noon, she frantically called 911 to report an injury.
Paramedics quickly responded.
"I remember the caregiver being upset as she was handing the patient over" said Randy Aust, Richland paremedic.
Jacobsen rode to the hospital with EMT Steve Waite, who asked her what happened to Ryder.
"She said that Ryder had been pushing a push toy, that goes pop pop pop, and that he fell over while pushing it" said Waite.
Waite thought that didn't sound right, considering Ryder's injures.
"He was flaccid, unresponsive. That just didn't sound like a baby that fell over from a standing position" said Waite.
So Waite asked Jacobsen what happened again.
And this time, he says she changed her story.
"And said that Ryder had climbed on top of the toy which I guess was maybe 6 inches, then fell off of it" said Waite.
So what really happened?
Only time will tell as this story unfolds, and the case eventually goes to the jury.
Jacobsen's attorney says Ryder's injuries that were noticed on June 22, 2011 may have been more than a day old.
He says the day before his death, Ryder was crying all day long.
An autopsy showed Ryder died of abusive head trauma.
Jacobsen's trial is expected to last about three weeks.