Prosecutors say Partin abused the 32-pound girl between March 6 and 8, 2018, while babysitting her. Partin admitted to hitting Hannah multiple times, poking her in the chest and shaking the toddler before she collapsed within second after she was dropped of by her father Jason Wesche at the Shank Road house on the morning of March 8, 2018.
UPDATE FROM MORNING CLOSING ARGUMENTS
Prosecutors told the jury during closing arguments that Partin told numerous stories of what happened to the toddler on March 8, 2018 when she collapsed.
"You heard denial after denial, but that truth finally came out,” said Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Lindsay Sheehan, who then played Partin’s interrogation tape of March 9, 2018, a day after 3-year-old Hannah Wesche collapsed at her Shank Road residence. The toddler died several days later at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
"I got mad and I just slapped her up the side of the head," Partin says in the tape. "I shook her and I remember picking her up and squeezing her."
The courtroom was crammed with spectators for the closings after seven full days of testimony, including about 10 Butler County Sheriff’s detectives who investigated the case and county Sheriff Richard Jones, who stood in the back wearing a white cowboy hat.
A pathologist who performed the autopsy on Hannah as well as doctors from the hospital testified a fall from second story wouldn't create the type of trauma she saw in Hannah's brain, Sheehan tells the jury. And that the child would have been symptomatic within seconds of the abusive head trauma that could have been caused by shaking.
But high-profile forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, who testified for the defense via video deposition said the child could have had a lucid interval after the injury to the head that was caused when the skull came in contact with a hard surface.
Defense attorney Melynda Cook Howard pointed fingers at Jason Wesche and a friend who spent time at his residence as those who may have harmed Hannah. She also pointed out the toddler may have slipped on the ice or fell climbing over the front seat into the back seat of a car on a morning that Jason Wesche was running late to work.
The detectives did not down load Jason Wesche’s phone and did not investigate many leads that would have shed more light on the investigation, Howard said.
Howard said Partin was Jason Wesche’s patsy, confessing after talking with the father at the hospital who told her Hannah had and aneurysm and that she thought she wouldn’t get in trouble because it was not an abusive situation.
"Lindsay Partin is innocent. I will say she is guilty of being stupid and really trusting," Howard said, adding the detectives bullied her into a confession, and after the got one did no further investigation, “they did what they don’t even do on ‘Scooby-Doo.’”
Partin’s confession was taped by Butler County Sheriff’s detectives, but on Thursday, Partin told the jury she felt bullied by the detectives and “just told them what they wanted to hear.”
The mother of two daughter said “it wasn’t me” when asked by defense attorneys who injured Hannah.
MORE RECENT COVERAGE
• Jury sees video of Butler County woman admitting to hitting, slapping child who died
• ‘Hannah, wake up’: Jurors hear emotional 911 call made by suspect in 3-year-old’s death
Wednesday afternoon, jurors watched a two-hour-plus video disposition of nationally known forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, who testified in the civil O.J. Simpson trial, Florida’s Casey Anthony trial and Warren County’s Ryan Widmer trials.
Spitz, now 92, was paid $4,000 by the defense to review Hannah’s medical and autopsy records.
He pointed to a dime-sized mark on the back of the toddler’s head in autopsy photos and said it was caused by the skull coming in contact with a flat surface, which caused brain swelling. The brain swelling eventually led to her death, he said.
Other larger bruising and hemorrhaging in the brain was caused by seeping of blood in the skull as the brain continued to swell, he said
“This whole thing did not occur in two minutes,” Spitz said. “It (took) time for the brain to swell.”
The doctor said the toddler could have had a lucid interval between the injury and when the swelling began.
Last week, Dr. Dorothy Dean, a forensic pathologist with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office who performed an autopsy on the toddler, testified for the prosecution.
Dean said Hannah suffered deep bruising to the back of her head, some of which was revealed only after the skin was peeled away from the skull. She also had a hemorrhage to the optic nerve and “tremendous brain damage.”
The pathologist said, “Hannah died of traumatic brain injury due to blunt impact to the head.”
Dean said Hannah’s death was a homicide and that the toddler would not have been normal within “a couple moments” of receiving the injury.