Cody Geddings On Trial For Killing Girlfriend’s Baby Daughter/convicted of 2nd-degree murder in death of girlfriend’s baby daughter/Prosecutor says defendant could face prison term of 10 years to life.

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Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:12 pm

Jan. 19, 2012



After hearing several hours of closing arguments Thursday, a Clark County jury has begun deliberating in the child abuse murder trial of a Henderson man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 16-month-old daughter in 2010.


Jurors decided to break for the evening and return at 9:30 a.m. Friday to consider the evidence in the trial of Cody Geddings, 26, who has been accused in the death of Addison Weast on March 31, 2010, in his home in Henderson.

Geddings has been charged with murder and child abuse with substantial bodily harm in the girl's death. He has also been charged with a second felony count of child abuse for not calling 911 emergency care for the child.

In action Thursday morning, Judge Douglas Herndon gave jurors their instructions and then Deputy District Attorney Kristen Kramer went through the prosecution's case point by point with the jury.

Kramer said it wasn't a case of "whodunnit." She said they knew that Geddings was guilty of child abuse based on the child's injuries. Kramer said Geddings made up the story about an accident happening in the backyard. She said testimony from several physicians pointed to child abuse by violent shaking or slamming of the baby into something.

She urged jurors to find him guilty of first degree murder by child abuse and also guilty of a second felony count of child abuse by negligence for not calling 911.

Norman Reed, Geddings' public defender, told the jury that the state had no motive for child abuse and that the accident happened the way Geddings said it did. Reed said that Geddings did not call 911, but neither did the child's mother — she rushed home and took the toddler to the hospital herself.

The defense wrapped up its case on Wednesday, with the final witness being John Farley, a UNLV physics professor. Farley testified that he conducted tests using a crash dummy that was roughly the same size of the girl to simulate an accident that Geddings claimed happened in his backyard.

Farley testified that his tests showed that a blow to the head that eventually killed the girl could have been caused by what Geddings claimed happened — the defendant says he had placed a large oxygen tank used in acetylene welding on a wobbly chair in his backyard and the girl knocked it over and it landed on her.

Geddings, who gave that story to police in an interview on video that was shown to the jury, said the heavy tank hit her on the head and then came to rest with the bottom of the tank still on the chair and the top of the tank on the ground. Geddings told police he then “freaked out,” took the girl into the house and tried to cover up the accident.

He said tried to hide the accident was because he thought no one would believe him because he had a sentencing pending on a different child abuse case involving his own son.

Geddings initially told both his girlfriend, Jaime Higgons, the girl’s mother, and police that the toddler fell out of her crib, screamed and then went into seizures. He told police he didn’t call 911, but called the girl’s mother so she could take her daughter to the hospital.

Geddings, during an interview with police, stuck to that story for an hour and 27 minutes before telling detectives the story about the oxygen tank falling on the girl.

Detectives who went out to investigate the back yard took photos of the tank, which was then strapped to a dolly. They also took photos of the chair that Geddings claimed it was resting. However, they did not gather DNA evidence, nor check the ground to see if there were any indentations that would match up with Geddings story, nor try to do their own re-enactment.

The detectives indicated they didn’t think Geddings’ second story was true.

Prosecutors have put several physicians on the stand who said the girl’s injuries to her retina were telltale injuries that point to one cause — shaken baby syndrome. The physicians have said the injuries suggest the child was violently shaken or slammed against something.

However, one physician for the Clark County coroner’s office has said there was some dispute among physicians about retinal hemorrhaging being caused exclusively by violent shaking. He said that the cause could have been a blow to the head.

During cross examination on Wednesday by prosecutors, Farley, the UNLV professor, said that he conducted the experiments by tipping over the oxygen tank, which weighed 145 pounds, and letting it fall on the head of the crash dummy. The dummy was hooked up to a device that measured the velocity of the strike, which provided a number that he matched up with similar crash tests used by the auto industry to determine the severity of an injury.

In the 11 tests he did, the tank caused what he said would have been fatal blows in five instances. Jurors saw about a dozen videos of the tests on Wednesday afternoon, plus many photos taken during the testing, which was done with the help of Geddings' public defenders, Reed and Shana Bachman.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Staudaher pointed out in his questioning that Farley didn’t use the same chair in his test that Geddings claimed to have used. He also got Farley to admit that the tests he conducted did not exactly match up to the description that Geddings gave on the video as to how the accident happened.

However, Farley said he would not change his conclusions that the falling tank could have delivered the fatal blow to the girl. He said his tests, “still included fatal results.”


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Normal Re: Cody Geddings On Trial For Killing Girlfriend’s Baby Daughter/convicted of 2nd-degree murder in death of girlfriend’s baby daughter/Prosecutor says defendant could face prison term of 10 years to life.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:02 pm

Jury still out on child abuse murder case involving 16-month-old Henderson girl
Closing arguments took place Thursday in week-long trial for Cody Geddings

By Dave Toplikar
Published Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 | 9:04 a.m.
Updated 1 hour, 44 minutes ago

A Clark County District Court jury is continuing to deliberate this afternoon in the child abuse murder trial of a Henderson man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 16-month-old daughter in 2010.

After listening to a week's worth of testimony, the case went to jurors Thursday evening. They met briefly, then returned at 9:30 a.m. today to sift through the evidence in the trial of Cody Geddings, 26, who has been accused in the death of Addison Weast on March 31, 2010, in his home in Henderson.

By noon, the jury had been served lunch and had still not reached a verdict, according to a court employee.

Prosecutors are seeking a first-degree murder by child abuse conviction. They claim the medical testimony about the nature of the girl's severe head, brain and eye injuries convinces them that Geddings violently shook her and slammed her into something.

Geddings’ public defenders are asking jurors to believe Geddings’ story. Geddings says a large oxygen tank used in acetylene welding that was in his backyard fell on top of the girl and caused the injuries that led to her death two days later.

Prosecutors have also charged Geddings with a felony count of child neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm. They say he failed to call for 911 emergency medical help for the girl and also gave both the girl’s mother and police a false cover-up story that the girl was injured by falling out of a playpen.

Late Thursday afternoon, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Staudaher went over the evidence presented in the trial point by point. Staudaher showed a timeline of events that happened that day, partially based on telephone records of calls made by Geddings. He told the jury they should conclude that Geddings’ story about the accident was false.

He said that Geddings claimed that after the girl’s mother, Jaime Higgons, took Addison to the hospital, Geddings covered up the accident. Geddings claimed he put the heavy tank back onto the dolly, strapped it in and hooked the gauges back up to it.

However, Staudaher said, phone records indicate that Geddings was making several telephone calls during the time period where his story had him restoring the tank to its normal position.

Staudaher told the jury the evidence showed there was an impact injury to the side of Addison's head and there was was retinal hemorrhaging caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration, which "is completely inconsistent with any statement given about the injury by the defendant."

"The only true reasonable explanation ... in this case is that Cody Geddings perpetrated child abuse against Addison Weast," Staudaher said. "And he did so before noon. And he could have done something about it afterwards and did not."

Staudaher also told the jury that even if they believe Geddings story completely, they still need to find him guilty of second-degree murder by child neglect for allowing her to be in a dangerous situation where the tank could fall on her in the backyard.

Staudaher held a baby doll as he talked to the jurors. He demonstrated what he thought could have caused the injuries found by the physicians. He first shook the doll and then loudly slammed the doll's head down onto a railing in front of the jury box.

"Whatever it was, he hit her head against something," Staudaher said. "That is an abusive scenario."

Norman Reed, one of Geddings' public defenders, told jurors it was simply a case of Geddings trying to cover up an accident. Geddings claims to have done so because he already had a sentencing pending for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge involving his own son.

"This is a tragedy," Reed told the jurors. "Cody Geddings is not a child abuser. He is not a murderer."

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Normal Cory Geddings convicted of 2nd-degree murder in death of girlfriend’s baby daughter/Prosecutor says defendant could face prison term of 10 years to life

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:03 pm

By Dave Toplikar
Published Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 | 2:36 p.m.
Updated 4 hours, 38 minutes ago

Jury still out on child abuse murder case involving 16-month-old Henderson girl (1-19-12)
Jury begins deliberating in trial of man accused of killing girlfriend's baby daughter (1-19-12)
UNLV physics prof: Falling tank could have caused fatal injury to 16-month-old girl (1-18-12)
Video: Boyfriend 'freaked out' and made up story when baby girl injured (1-17-12)
Opthamologist: Eye injuries show baby girl's death caused by violent shaking (1-13-12)
Mother testifies she didn't think boyfriend would hurt her baby daughter (1-12-12)
Surgeon: Fatal injuries of 16-month-old consistent with 'classic shaken baby syndrome' (1-12-12)
Jury still being picked in trial of man accused of killing girlfriend’s baby daughter (1-11-12)
Trial starts for man accused of killing girlfriend’s baby daughter (1-10-12)
Hearing delayed for man accused of killing girlfriend’s daughter (4-12-10)
Henderson man accused of killing girlfriend’s toddler daughter (4-5-10)

Cody Geddings is guilty of second-degree murder by child neglect in the 2010 slaying of Addison Weast, his girlfriend’s 16-month-old daughter, a Clark County District Court jury ruled today.

After deliberating for about four hours, the jury returned its verdict early this afternoon in the trial, which began early last week.

Geddings, 26, who had claimed that the girl was injured by a large oxygen tank falling on her head, was immediately handcuffed by court marshals and remanded to the Clark County Detention Center, where he will be held without bail awaiting sentencing.

Judge Douglas Herndon set sentencing for 9 a.m. April 17.

The jury also found Geddings guilty of a felony count of child neglect with substantial bodily harm for not trying to immediately get medical aid for the girl after she was injured at his home on March 31, 2010, which resulted in her death.

Following the verdict, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Staudaher said prosecutors had been hoping to convince the jury that Geddings was guilty of first-degree murder by child abuse.

“It’s not what we wanted, obviously. We got close,” Staudaher said.

Norman Reed, Geddings' public defender, said after the verdict that Geddings was "obviously shocked and disappointed."

However, "we certainly are happy that the jury did not find this was child abuse and that was a great victory in its own regard," Reed said.

A first-degree child abuse murder conviction could have brought a prison term from 20 years to life, Staudaher said.

Reed said the second-degree conviction means Gedding faces a minimum prison term of between 10 years and 18 years before being eligible for parole.

The judge has the options in second-degree murder of a prison term that could range from 10 years to 25 years, or from 10 years to life, Reed said.

On the second felony count, Geddings could see a prison term of between one and 20 years, he said.

The judge could run those terms consecutively or concurrently, he said.

The jury’s verdict indicates it decided there was a reasonable doubt that Geddings shook the child violently and slammed her head into something, which is the scenario that Staudaher had told them the medical evidence showed.

Staudaher had told jurors Thursday that if they completely believed Geddings’ story about an oxygen tank falling on the girl’s head in the back yard, they needed to convict him of second-degree murder. That was because Geddings had allowed the girl to go into a dangerous place, he told them.

Throughout the trial, Reed had told the jury that the girl’s injuries, which included brain swelling and retinal hemorrhaging, were caused when she knocked over a large oxygen tank Geddings claims to have temporarily placed in a wobbly chair in his back yard.

Earlier this week, jurors watched a lengthy video of Geddings in an interview with police before he was arrested.

In the interview, Henderson Police detectives told Geddings over and over that the injuries the girl suffered could not have happened the way he described to both his girlfriend and police. In his initial story, Geddings had told his girlfriend, Jaime Higgons, that her daughter had fallen out of a playpen.

After staying with that story for an hour and 27 minutes and police telling him there must have been some kind of an accident, Geddings told them about the oxygen tank in the back yard.

He claimed he had "freaked out" and tried to cover up the accident because he was afraid of going to jail because he was awaiting sentencing on a misdemeanor child endangerment charge involving his own son.

Prosecutors said police never believed Geddings' second story, saying he came up with that to explain the severity of the blow to the girl's head.

Earlier this week, the defense brought in John Farley, a UNLV physics professor, to testify. Farley said he had done experiments with the 145-pound oxygen tank, letting it fall onto a crash test dummy that had been rigged to measure the velocity of the impact. Farley said that his conclusions were that the tank could have provided enough force to cause a fatal head injury.

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Post by raine1953 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:38 pm

I sure hope this POS gets the max on both counts and that they run consecutively! That poor dear baby went thru' more than I can even imagine and this guy shouldn't be cut a break at all. Sickening.
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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:40 pm

She was such a little cutie. And, to think the mother bought it. Sickening!! I've already moved his sick ass in the convicted thread.

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