Trial begins for Warren mother charged in daughters death - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trial begins for Warren mother charged in daughters death

Updated:

WARREN, Ohio - More than a year after a baby girl was found dead in her crib in Warren, the mother goes on trial for murder

Prosecutors have begun presenting their case against 29-year old Joy Hodge.

Hodge has been held in jail since September of last year when she was charged in the death of her 16-month old daughter A'nana Brantley.

The girl was found dead in her crib at home on Transylvania Avenue S.E. in Warren.

Among the first witnesses was lead investigator Detective Wayne Mackey who testified about visible injuries on the child's body. "She was obviously deceased. She had numerous contusions and bruises about her head, torso and arms," Makkey testified.

Following an autopsy, the county coroner ruled that the child's death was the result of blunt traumatic injuries.

The prosecution showed a series of 49 photographs and a police video taken of the little girl and the crime scene. Hodge often diverted her eyes away from the screen.

Detective Michael Stabile, who took the photos, also testified about the child's injuries. "There were bruises on the left cheek and chest area," Stabile said.

Both detectives testified that Hodge told them that she had gone to A'nana's room around 8 a.m. that morning and gave her a drink. "She had given her a sippy cup and she had smiled at her," Mackey testified.

At 1:30 that afternoon Hodge called 911 to report she found A'nana not breathing.

A former neighbor of Hodge's testified that the day before her death, she saw A'nana at a cookout at her house and she was "in good spirits."

The prosecution also presented a police video of an interview with Hodge at the Warren Police Department.

The trial jury is made up of nine men and three women.

The prosecution will continue its case on Wednesday and the trial is expected to last through the end of the week.

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