LIMA – The state of Ohio closed its case on Wednesday in the jury trial of a 23-year-old woman from Lima charged with criminal assault and endangering children.
Prosecutors say Cheyenne Hooper inflicted injuries on her 7-month-old daughter, Lyla Stratton, in March 2019 at the family home in Lima.
The child suffered what several medical experts described during the trial as severe head trauma on the morning of March 13, 2019, when she was in the sole care of her mother. Lyla was first transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s medical center with a variety of injuries that Hooper said were the result of falling 3 feet from a bed.
The little girl was immediately transferred via LifeFlight to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where injuries were diagnosed including severe brain bleeding, brain displacement, neck injuries and retinal hemorrhages.
Three medical professionals testified on Tuesday that the injuries to the infant could not have been caused by a fall from a bed, as Hooper alleges. On Wednesday, jurors heard another expert witness collaborate on these opinions.
The state’s latest witness was Dr Randall Schlievert, director of the child abuse program at Mercy Heath in Toledo, who emphatically stated that a decrease in distance described by the mother of the child “was not not the cause of (Lyla’s) injuries because those injuries just wouldn’t fit. “
“A fall from three feet with these injuries is extremely rare. Severe head trauma is the likely cause of (Lyla’s) injuries and I believe she was physically abused, ”Schlievert said.
Hooper’s defense team are expected to call their own medical experts on Thursday to refute the claims.
Lima Police Department Detective Matt Woodworth, the lead investigator in the case, admitted, when questioned by defense attorneys, that no one knew for sure what happened on the morning in question. But the detective said that “all of the information” gleaned by investigators indicated that the injuries sustained by Lyla Stratton were not accidental in nature.
Hooper was visibly upset and wiped tears from her eyes as a tape recording of her 911 call for help on March 13, 2019 was played for jurors during Woodworth’s testimony.
Nichole Mikesell, an investigator with Allen County Children Services, also took the witness stand on Wednesday.
Mikesell testified that – from her initial interview with Hooper – it appeared that the child’s mother “didn’t seem to understand how close Lyla was to death” due to her injuries. Mikesell said Hooper’s nonchalant behavior during this session “did not match the (gravity of the) situation.”
The children’s services worker also testified that Hooper said she stopped taking prescribed pain relievers following her breast enlargement surgery a week before Lyla’s injuries, but that ‘drug testing of the accused “turned out to be different”.
Cheyenne Hooper, on trial for causing serious injuries to her 7-month-old daughter at a Lima residence over two years ago, has watered tears from her eyes as a 911 call for help for her girl was played for jurors on Wednesday.
Nichole Mikesell, an Allen County Children Services investigator, testified Wednesday that in her opinion, the level of concern expressed by Cheyenne Hooper about her daughter’s injuries “did not match the (severity of) situation”.
Dr Randall Schlievert, director of the child abuse program at Mercy Heath in Toledo, testified Wednesday during the jury trial of Cheyenne Hooper, the opinion that a fall from a bed was not the cause of the injuries of Lyla Stratton “because these injuries just aren’t. adjust. ”Schlievert said he believed the child had suffered a non-accidental head injury.