Prosecutors told an Ada County jury Tuesday that 18-month-old Alaija Corbin had fresh injuries to her feet, ankles and shins the same night she suffered a fatal head wound. They also said the toddler was shaken with such force that she had fresh tissue damage injuries under her arms. But the worst injury was to Alaijas head, which led to her dying a week later.
Prosecutors say all those injuries were caused by 22-year-old Jordan Everhart as he watched the toddler on Oct. 7, 2011, while her mother worked a double shift. Prosecutors told the jury that Everhart was angry because the toddler wouldnt go to sleep.
Alaija Corbin was beaten and murdered because her mothers boyfriend wanted to play video games, Ada County deputy prosecutor Jill Longhurst told the jury during opening arguments in Everharts first-degree murder trial. She wouldnt go to bed, and she wouldnt leave him alone. And wouldnt let him play his Xbox.
He struck her repeatedly, across the tops of her toes, the tops of her feet, across her ankles and even her shins.
Longhurst didnt tell the jury how authorities suspect the toddler got her fatal brain injury, but did say forensic tests will show that the toddler was hit by a solid object hard enough to cause a fatal brain injury.
Longhurst said that when Everhart figured out the toddler was badly hurt, he first called his mom for advice and then called the girls mother at work before he called 911.
Paramedics found the toddler unconscious and clad in a diaper on the floor of a trailer home in the 300 block of East 40th Street about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2011. When asked by a firefighter what happened, Everhart said the toddler fell backward and hit her head. Everhart had told 911 dispatchers that a dog knocked down the toddler, Longhurst said.
Paramedics took Alaija to St. Lukes Boise Medical Center, where she eventually died.
Defense attorney Gus Cahill told the jury Monday that Everhart is accused of committing a murder he didnt commit and said the evidence prosecutors have does not support a murder charge.
Cahill did not provide the jury an explanation for how Alaija got her injuries, but he said that many of the witnesses expected to testify against Everhart created a narrative after the fact.
Cahill also told the jury that Everhart was still dealing with injuries he sustained in a house fire years before and questioned whether Everhart had the physical strength to cause the toddlers injuries.
Cahill also said that Everhart called his mom for advice when he discovered Alaija was injured because his mom was a nurse.
Testimony in the case is expected to last for several weeks.
Longhurst told the jury that the states case would be made up of two parts a lot of testimony about the injuries the girl suffered and how those happened, and then testimony from family and friends about how the toddler was healthy and happy the last time she was seen by anybody else before she was fatally injured.
Everhart could be sent to prison for life if the jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr