Partin, 36, is charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter and child abuse in the death of Hannah for the injuries she suffered on March 8, 2018, while she was babysitting the 3-year-old.
Prosecutors say Partin abused the 32-pound girl between March 6 and 8, 2018, while babysitting her. Partin admitted “to uppercutting Hannah multiple times and poking her in the chest,” prosecutors told the jury during opening statements.
On March 8, after father Jason Wesche dropped the child off at the neighboring house, Partin picked up the girl and shook her to stop her from crying, according to prosecutors.
The defense team says Partin did not abuse or injure the child, pointing to injuries Hannah suffered while at play on March 6 and 7 and noting that Partin told the child’s father about the incidents. The child was only with Partin for 30 seconds to a minute before 911 was called, the defense notes.
On Thursday, the jury watched a interview of Partin with detectives just hours after the child was taken away from the Shank Road house.
Partin told the detectives about falls the girl had in the preceding days, from a toy train and a “face plant” on the gravel driveway.
She told them on that March 8, 2018, Hannah was brought to her house at about 7 a.m. by her father and collapsed within about 30 seconds after asking for a doughnut.
But in the second interview, Partin said she had been frustrated and suffering after having a miscarriage at the end of February.
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She said she slapped the child and hit her a couple of times on the chin with a closed fist after detectives pointed out bruising on photos of the unconscious baby. Partin also said she remembered squeezing Hannah when she fussed about her father leaving.
When detectives pressed her about what happened on March 8, telling her Hannah had suffered abusive head trauma and it happened immediately, Partin first said the girl fell on the steps tripping over the blanket and striking her head on the metal part.
After more prodding, Partin said she fell on the steps while holding Hannah.
“I opened the door, I slipped and we when down … we went down hard,” Partin said. “I didn’t hit her Thursday morning.”
Eventually, Partin told detectives that they did fall, but she also shook Hannah.
“She didn’t want him (father) to go to work, and I shook her,” Partin said.
Jurors watched the lengthy second interview, including Partin in the interrogation room crying after she was told she would not be going home and the charges were going to be filed.
The defense team has continued to question doctors, including a forensic pathologist who performed that autopsy on Hannah, about the injuries that caused her death and the timing. Prosecution experts say Hannah was abusive head trauma.
Dr. Dorothy Dean, a forensic pathologist with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, said Hannah suffered deep bruising to the back, 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.”
Dean said Hannah’s death was a homicide and that the toddler would not have been acting normal within “a couple moments” of receiving the injury.
On Friday, Dr. Kathi Makoroff a pediatrician a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who examined the unconscious Hannah, gave the same opinion of the child’s injuries.
“She suffered from child abuse and suffered abusive head trauma.,” Makoroff told the jury.
But during cross examination, the defense pointed to Hannah’s records that indicate she suffered from hepatitis C and one of the symptoms of that disease is bruising easily.
On Saturday, prosecutors and defense attorneys traveled to Michigan to depose noted forensic pathologist Werner Spitz who will testify for the defense.
Now 92, Spitz, was a defense witness in the 2011 Casey Anthony trial, a Florida mother acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old. Spitz also was a defense witness in the Warren County trials of Ryan Widmer, who was convicted of murder for the bathtub death of his wife, Sarah.
Defense attorneys have hinted that Spitz has a different opinion of the timeline of Hannah’s injuries.
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