Trials delayed for 2 cases involving young Richland kids

Tri-City HeraldApril 23, 2014 

— The trials for two separate Richland cases involving the deaths of young kids have been pushed back to July 28.

Both Jose Luis Aguilar and Kelli A. Jacobsen had been set to go to trial May 5 in Benton County Superior Court, but the unrelated cases have the same prosecutor and judge.

On Wednesday, the two cases were delayed for different issues.

Prosecutor Andy Miller recognized that they're still both set for the same date, but told Judge Vic VanderSchoor he expects one of them to actually go then.

Shelley Ajax, who represents Aguilar, said she is "in the process of putting together mitigating information and a counter offer" for prosecutors. She added that she won't be prepared for trial in 1 1/2 weeks.

Aguilar is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child. The murder charge includes the aggravating circumstances that the 9-month-old victim was too young to defend herself and that the crime had a destructive impact on additional people.

Aguilar was living with his girlfriend when he allegedly raped and killed her baby daughter during the middle of the night.

Serenity Jade Reedy was found dead in her crib the morning of June 7. Her skull was fractured and she had a cut and injuries to her vaginal area, according to court documents.

Miller said he has all of his witnesses lined up for the May 5 date, but added that he knows Ajax has been working the case and needs more time.

Jacobsen's case was called before the court immediately after Aguilar, and defense attorney Scott Johnson said he'd heard what was said on that matter and was in agreement with his own trial being postponed.

Jacobsen is charged with first-degree manslaughter with two aggravating circumstances. She was the live-in nanny for Ryder Morrison, who died a day after celebrating his first birthday.

"I know both of us want to see this case tried," Johnson said.

Miller said his office received information a week ago about a report by a doctor for the defense, and he needed to review it before trial.

The prosecutor also said that he's OK with the trial delay for Jacobsen because Dr. Kenneth Feldman, a pediatrician with Seattle Children's Hospital, is out of the country the first three weeks in May.

Feldman is a prosecution witness who believes Ryder suffered a fatal injury after the boy's mother left the house on June 22, 2011.

Ryder died on the operating table from abusive head trauma, which happened minutes or possibly up to 24 hours before he was rushed to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Jacobsen was home watching Ryder. The boy's mother had stopped in for her half-hour lunch break but was back at work when she got the call that her son was going to the hospital.

Jacobsen has maintained her innocence. Her first trial ended a year ago with the jury deadlocked.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service