Jurors who heard three hours of testimony Thursday from Rebekah Kinner about alleged shaking and hitting of her daughter, Kinsley, by Bradley Young were told Friday to forget what she said.
Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth declared Kinner incompetent to testify after defense attorney Frank Schiavone III said she appeared to be “intoxicated from medication” on Thursday and questioned her competency to continue to testify.
“I move to strike the testimony and, in the alternative, I am moving for a mistrial,” Schiavone said, adding Kinner is the prosecution’s key witness.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the prosecution’s case was “rock solid” without Kinner’s testimony.
Young is charged with murder, manslaughter and child abuse in the death of the 2-year-old in December. Kinner, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for her role in her daughter’s death, testified Thursday, saying she saw Young shake Kinsley several times.
During her testimony, the shackled and handcuffed Kinner said she was taking Prozac for depression and Lamictal for a bi-polar condition.
Spaeth questioned Kinner late Thursday before she left the courtroom about her drug usage and told her to take the drugs only as prescribed.
On Friday, the judge said it appeared as if Kinner had been under the influence of drugs the day before. A drug test of Kinner on Friday, however, came back negative for street drugs.
Pressed by the judge to explain her inconsistent answers while testifying, she admitted some of her answers were not true and she was responding “just to get (testifying) over with.”
Spaeth ruled Kinner an incompetent witness and said the jury would be instructed to disregard her testimony.
“She doesn’t really seem to be cognizantly understanding what is truthful and what isn’t,” Spaeth said. “She readily admits she has trouble responding truthfully to questions.”
After the jurors said they understood that they could not consider the testimony of Kinner, prosecutors played three hours worth of interrogation tapes between Young and Butler County Sheriff’s Office detectives.
Young appears calm while talking to detectives as he smokes and drinks the Mt. Dew they offered him.
Young gave detectives several reasons when asked to explain the injuries on Kinsley’s body, including that she was involved in a “fender bender” and the straps from her car seat had “pinched” her neck, that she “slipped and fell out of a chair,” and that she had hit her head on a sink faucet.
Young denied shaking or hitting Kinsley, saying he only disciplined her by slapping her hand. Detectives showed Young how Kinner said he shook Kinsley over his head.
“I am not going to admit to something I didn’t do,” he told the detectives.
On Dec. 2, Young told detectives Kinsley had awaken and she was shaking. He gave her some fruit snacks, turned on the heater to keep her warm and she went back to sleep.
Then he and Kinner moved out to the couch, he said, adding that Kinsley was sleeping on his chest.
“She woke up screaming at the top of her lungs. Her breathing wasn’t right,” Young said, adding he tried to shake her awake. “I said wake up sis.”
Young said he call 911 and did CPR on Kinsley.
“Rebekah disappeared,” he told detectives.