Former Yakima man convicted in child’s death could get life

May 19, 2013 

— A 22-year-old man who was seriously injured in a 2009 house fire in Yakima is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Boise, Idaho, for the beating death there of his girlfriend’s daughter.

Under Idaho law, Jordan Everhart could get up to life in prison without parole for the October 2011 death of 18-month-old Alai’Ja Freedom Corbin.

A jury in Boise convicted Everhart of first-degree murder in November after prosecutors argued the girl died from a fatal head wound that was caused by Everhart as he watched the toddler while her mother worked a double shift.

Prosecutors said Everhart was angry because the girl wouldn’t go to sleep, and that forensic tests showed she was hit by a solid object hard enough to cause a fatal brain injury.

They said Everhart was upset because he wanted to play video games and that the girl was shaken with such force that she had fresh tissue damage under her arms, and to her feet, ankles and shins.

Jurors were also told that Everhart gave inconsistent stories about what happened, telling dispatchers that a dog knocked the girl down and a firefighter that she fell backward and hit her head.

The girl was born in Yakima and was the daughter of Kathy Crawford, who attended Naches Valley High School.

Everhart attended West Valley High School. In March 2009 he was seriously injured in a house fire on South Naches Avenue in Yakima while spending the night there with friends. One of those friends, 20-year-old Paris Reid, was killed.

Everhart spent several months in a coma at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, where he underwent several surgeries for skin grafts and related damage to his kidneys. The cause of the fire was never established. Firefighters said they did not consider it suspicious.

At trial in Boise, Everhart’s lawyer questioned whether his client had the physical strength to cause the girl’s injuries, noting he was still dealing with his injuries from the house fire in Yakima.

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