HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — The murder trial for a couple accused of abusing and killing a 2-year-old foster child got off to an emotional start Tuesday.
Police say Laila Daniel died in 2015 while in the care of her foster parents, Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum, at their Henry County home.
The Rosenbaums were indicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery and first-degree child cruelty in 2016.
Channel 2's Audrey Washington was inside the courtroom, where opening statements were made.
“The reality is they are liars, abusers and murderers,” said Daysha Young, assistant district attorney for DeKalb County.
Channel 2 Action News has been covering the case since Laila's death almost four years ago.
On Nov. 17, 2015, Jennifer Rosenbaum made a frantic call to 911 and told dispatch that Laila choked on a chicken bone. She told the operator she performed CPR on Laila.
“The unavoidable truth is that accidents happen and sometimes accidents can’t be prevented,” defense attorney Corinne Mull said.
An autopsy report later showed the 2-year-old had several bruises and broken bones. The medical examiner determined Laila died from a blow to the stomach.
The state told the jury the Rosenbaums beat Laila over a number of months. But the defense argued against that and accused the state of fabricating the events leading up the Laila’s death.
“What they’re doing is mixing bad medicine to get sensationalism and blame the first easy target,” Mull said.
The defense attorney said the bruises were a result of Jennifer Rosenbaum's effort to save her from choking.
After the opening statements, the paramedic who responded to the Rosenbaums' home that night took the stand Tuesday.
"I didn't actually see her doing compressions and all of that. But she was right there with the child," Kenneth Jones testified.
Both the state and the defense plan to call several family members to the stand, including Laila's biological mother.
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