CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The State has rested its case in the murder trial of a man accused of beating his baby to death in 2012. Now Todd Boderick must decide whether to present evidence and possibly testify as he represents himself.
The trial has challenged typical courtroom procedures and proved incredibly sad as the baby's injuries have been put on the record by the medical examiner and her own mother who is also charged with murder.
During a lunch break, Judge Robert Sumner will decide whether a previous felony child abuse case against Boderick and his girlfriend, Krishay Mouzon, can be included in the State's evidence.
Boderick is on trial for the murder of Keyoni Boderick, who was six months old in 2012. Assistant District Attorney Bill Stetzer said Boderick stomped and beat the baby, which left her limp and unresponsive. Two days after noticing a change in her baby, Krishay Mouzon testified that she called 911.
In 2010, Boderick and Mouzon were also charged with felony child abuse of Mouzon's infant son. The charge was dismissed against them both, as the District Attorney's Office said there was no way to prove who, how or when the injuries took place based on the evidence gathered by police.
In Keyoni's case, Assistant District Attorney Bill Bunting argued that the 2010 case should be admitted despite the dismissal. "These similarities mean something," said Bunting, emphasizing that both infants had a crushed skull, broken ribs, and brain injuries. "The similarities between these children are staggering," he said.
Boderick argued that the dismissal summary shows he had nothing to do with the 2010 abuse. He said the cases are different because one child died and one child survived. Boderick also said he was also not a primary caregiver for either baby.
Bunting fired back saying the evidence is stronger in Keyoni's case because investigators have an autopsy and post-mortem report to precisely pinpoint the timeline and extent of injuries. "The fact that it happened again bolsters both cases," said Bunting.
Boderick's assigned lawyer to help in the courtroom, Calvin Coleman, read an excerpt from the District Attorney's dismissal report which said there were no eyewitnesses and the boy had multiple caregivers.
The prior case shows the parents were on the radar with police and DSS, yet Keyoni's death still happened. Monday, Mouzon testified in a matter-of-fact way how the baby was unresponsive. She referred to Keyoni as "sleeping" several times.
She testified about several times she left Boderick and Keyoni alone in their west Charlotte hotel room. It was the third hotel Keyoni had lived in during her six-month life. She testified how Keyoni hadn't opened her eyes in two days, yet they put her in a stroller to go on errands to the cellphone store, ABC store and grocery store.
The most heart-crushing testimony came when Mouzon described what happened after she realized Keyoni wasn't breathing. "We went to go smoke a cigarette," she said. "Then I asked him (Boderick), can I go call the paramedics and he told me to wait til the next day," she added.
Mouzon said at least 90 minutes went by between the time she knew Keyoni wasn't breathing and the 911 call.
Prosecutors say Mouzon has not received a plea agreement for her testimony. She was arrested six months after her boyfriend, as new evidence came to light.
"I didn't know what was wrong," she said. "I didn't want to take her to the doctor and get DSS involved," said Mouzon to Bunting.
Mouzon's testimony seemed to hurt Boderick's defense and her own. She clearly established that Keyoni seemed abnormal and she was reluctant to seek help.
When first interviewed by police, Mouzon testsified that she said her four-year-old daughter d ropped the baby. Mouzon also told the court that the little girl shared a bed with the unresponsive infant.
Bunting asked several times for Mouzon to explain her actions.
"Because I thought I was in love," she replied, concerning her feelings about Boderick – not Keyoni.