Richland nanny's trial postponed

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 17, 2013 

The trial of a Richland nanny accused of killing a 1-year-old boy she was watching was delayed Wednesday for about two months.

Kelli Anne Jacobsen, 28, was supposed to stand trial later this month for the June 2011 death of Ryder Morrison, but it was continued to April 8.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said more time is needed so he and defense attorney Scott Johnson can complete some interviews with medical witnesses before the trial.

Miller also told Judge Vic VanderSchoor that the delay would help with a scheduling conflict because Miller has a serious assault trial ready to go on Jan. 28.

Jacobsen is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree manslaughter for recklessly causing Ryder's death by inflicting abusive head trauma to the boy.

The charge includes aggravating circumstances alleging Ryder was particularly vulnerable and incapable of resistance, and that his death had a destructive and foreseeable impact on others.

Jacobsen called 911 on June 22, 2011, and allegedly said Ryder had fallen and hit his head while she was in another room.

He was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland and emergency room doctors said the boy's injuries, including a brain bleed, were not consistent with Jacobsen's story, court documents said.

Ryder, who turned 1 the day before, died in surgery.

After reviewing autopsy and medical records, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital in Seattle concluded that the injuries Ryder had normally are from severe whiplash that can also cause neck muscle and spinal cord bleeding, documents said.

Jacobsen, who was charged Oct. 27, 2011, has been out of custody on her own personal recognizance since her first court appearance.

She has maintained her innocence. Her lawyer previously has said his client has been devastated by Ryder's death but she had nothing to do with how he died.

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