Jury hears Nanny's 911 call

Tyler Richardson

April 29, 2013 

Jurors listened Monday as nanny Kelli A. Jacobsen described to a 911 operator the chilling scene of a lifeless toddler she cared for moments after she claims he fell and hit the back of his head.

A frantic-sounding Jacobsen can be heard telling the operator during the call in June 2011 that 1-year-old Ryder Morrison's body was limp and he wasn't breathing.

"His eyes rolled in the back of his head, and he got really red," the 28-year-old Jacobsen said during the call. She said the boy didn't fall "very far" and repeatedly told the operator she needs to call the toddler's mother Tawney Johnson.

The tape was the last thing jurors heard Monday during the start of the second week of Jacobsen's first-degree manslaughter trial.

Benton County prosecutors played the tape after three of Johnson's neighbors testified about the Richland home before and after medics arrived to take the boy to the hospital.

Madison Gangl, 14, and her 13-year-old sister Alexandria, who lived next door, testified they saw a bruise on his back while he was unconscious.

Alexandria Gangl testified Jacobsen told her at the scene that the boy tripped on a toy and hit his head. Alexandria identified the colorful toy, which stood about 6-inches high.

She also testified she heard Jacobsen, who was the boy's live-in nanny, and Johnson fighting the night before Ryder died. Alexandria said she could hear the toddler often crying when Johnson was at work.

Both sisters testified that Jacobson looked upset at the scene. A third neighbor, Chris Thelwell, said Jacobson had a "blank expression" and showed no emotion as ambulances arrived.

Most of Monday's testimony came from the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy.

Dr. Daniel Selove spent much of Monday testifying about the cause of the boy's death and the trauma he found on the child's body.

Selove testified the boy died from "abusive trauma" to the head. He showed the jury pictures of the 1-year-old's body, which he said had around 15 different bruises and scrapes.

Selove also testified that the boy suffered bleeding in his brain and in his eyes and fractures to his arm.

Selove said in his opinion the injuries "probably" happened sometime after Johnson was home from work for a 30-minute lunch the day he died. She testified Friday that the boy was acting normal when she was home.

He was rushed to the hospital about an hour later.

The boy suffered bruises and scrapes on his forearm, forehead, back, thigh, head, neck, abdomen, chest, spine and elbow, Selove testified.

During cross examination from defense attorney Scott Johnson, Selove testified that there is a remote possibility of death from a short fall like the one Jacobsen described.

Selove also testified that size of the bleeding in the toddler's brain leads him to believe it wasn't an injury from the night before.

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, resumes today at the Benton County Justice Center.

w Tyler Richardson: 582-1556; trichardson@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @ty_richardson

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