Trial in Richland baby death to start this month

Tri-City HeraldJuly 16, 2014 

Jose Aguilar Arraignment

File photo: Jose Luis Aguilar is arraigned in June 2013 in Benton County Superior Court.


The trial of a Richland man charged with raping and killing a 9-month-old baby is set to start July 28.

The lawyer for Jose Luis Aguilar told the court Wednesday morning she's ready to take the case before a jury.

However, Shelley Ajax did note that there may be a last-minute expert. The lawyer told Judge Vic VanderSchoor she wants to keep the trial date to try to push things forward with regards to the defense investigation.

Aguilar is charged in Benton County Superior Court with second-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child.

The murder charge includes the aggravating circumstances that Serenity Jade Reedy 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 killed her baby daughter during the middle of the night.

Serenity was found dead in her crib the morning of June 7, 2013. Her skull was fractured and she had a cut and injuries to her vaginal area, according to court documents.

Meanwhile, another Benton County case involving a child's death was postponed two months on Wednesday because it had the same trial date as Aguilar, while also having the same prosecutor and judge.

Now, Kelli A. Jacobsen is scheduled for trial Sept. 29 for the 2011 death of Ryder Morrison.

Jacobsen was the live-in nanny for Ryder, who died from abusive head trauma a day after celebrating his first birthday.

Jacobsen's first trial for first-degree manslaughter with aggravating circumstances ended with the jury deadlocked. She has maintained her innocence.

Prosecutor Andy Miller pointed out that an unrelated murder trial is scheduled Sept. 29, and that court administration said two murder cases can't start on the same Monday.

He said if Robert McCorkindale’s case goes to trial on that date for the June 2013 death of a Prosser man, then Jacobsen’s trial will have to be delayed again.

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