Case Background

  • Jocelynn was part of a very large group of family and friends that got together constantly on weekdays and weekends. Her parents were always going places and taking her with them. Many people saw her and helped care for her on a regular basis. None of these people ever saw anything that caused them to suspect abuse. That is why Clayton and CJ have so many people around them that understand that Clayton is innocent. These people loved Jocelynn and would not have tolerated anything else. They would not support him now if they believed he had ever hurt her.
  • Jocelynn was an intelligent child with normal fine motor skills despite slow gross motor development. She had been crawling on her belly for many weeks, but within the month that she died had just gotten her knees under her and started crawling with greater speed. She was pulling herself up on everything - people, furniture, boxes, etc. - though she had to lean against something to stand because her head was large and her balance was poor. She would free-fall to get down from an upright position, lacking the leg strength and control to lower herself gradually.
    • The police interviewed several family members and friends that personally witnessed the baby’s abilities near her death. Even though the state could produce no witnesses who saw her during the last month of her life that said she was not able to do these things, the medical examiner and a local pediatrician, who had never examined Jocelynn or her body, decided that she could not do them, and based their findings on those false assumptions. They said that she could not pull herself up to a stand and that she could not crawl very fast, or for more than a few feet, without becoming exhausted. However, a month before her death, her physical therapist documented Jocelynn pulling herself up during therapy.
  • During the trial Dr. Janice Ophoven, a national pediatric forensics expert, explained to the jury that Jocelynn had an undiagnosed condition causing bleeding on the brain that was so grave and so fragile that she was a “ticking time bomb,” and likely to die after any, even minor, impact or fall. The level of her fragility was unknown until then. It was a shock for her family to hear.

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