Defense team members tried Friday to portray a dead toddler's mother as an uncaring and inattentive parent by showing jurors the amount of time the woman worked at her job and the number of hours the child attended daycare.
The testimony occurred Friday in the first-degree murder trial of Jake Ryan Holman, 28, of Noble. Holman is accused of stomping to death his ex-girlfriend's 20-month-old son Maddox Abner at the couple's Norman apartment.
The alleged killing occurred either late on Feb. 3, 2017 or during the early-morning hours of Feb. 4, 2017.
Defense team investigator Matt Davis testified he compiled charts showing the number of hours the mother, Cydney Cox, worked at a housekeeping job and the amount of time the child spent at Kindercare in Norman during a six-week span in late 2016 and early 2017.
Davis was the first defense witness to testify during the trial. Lead defense attorney Cindy Viol will announce to Cleveland County District Judge Jeff Virgin on Monday if Holman will take the witness stand. Prosecutors finished their case Friday.
Davis' presentation revealed Cox worked substantially less hours than her son spent in daycare. During the last week of December 2016, Cox worked five hours while the boy spent 34 hours in daycare. Each of the weekly charts showed Cox did not work as many hours as her son was at the daycare center.
But Cox testified during the first week of the trial that Department of Human Services rules require a child must spend a specific number of hours each month at daycare so parents can receive financial assistance.
During the two-week trial, Viol has tried to portray Cox as a bad mother and someone who didn't want to be a parent. Viol has attempted to convey to jurors during cross-examination of prosecution witnesses that Cox had the opportunity to kill her son. However, prosecutors have rebuffed those arguments with timeline evidence, cell phone data and matching statements from Holman and Cox.
The defendant and the victim's mother told police in separate interviews that she was asleep shortly after midnight on Feb. 4, 2017. In addition, Holman and Cox told police the defendant was the last person left alone with the child late Feb. 3 and early Feb. 4.
On Feb. 3, Cox left the apartment to purchase marijuana and was gone for about an hour after putting her son in his crib between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Holman remained at the apartment.
During testimony this week and a videotaped police interview with Holman, jurors have heard that Holman checked on the toddler about 2 a.m. on Feb. 4 as Cox slept. Holman told investigators the boy was in the crib and alive at the time. Holman theorized during the police interrogation that the boy died after falling from his crib.
Holman told police he discovered the toddler lying facedown on the floor next to his crib about 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 4. A blood stain was found on the child's bedroom carpet next to the crib.
The autopsy revealed the boy's liver and pancreas were ripped into two pieces and that he suffered injuries to his brain and lung. The autopsy showed the child had numerous abrasions and contusions to several parts of his body.
Davis also testified Friday a photograph taken of the toddler stretched out on the medical examiner's autopsy table was distorted because of the way the photo was taken. Prosecutors have relied on that photo to demonstrate a shoe pattern from the boy's abdomen matches the sole of Holman's Air Jordans.
A Norman police forensic investigator testified earlier this week the sole of the shoe and the shoe pattern found on the boy's stomach were "similar."
Assistant District Attorney SuAnne Carlson tried to discredit Davis' analysis of the photograph by asking him if he was fired from the state medical examiner's office. Davis admitted he was terminated and tried to explain the reason for the firing, but was cut off by Carlson.
Davis admitted during cross-examination he is not a shoe pattern expert, but was relying on his knowledge of photography and mathematics. Davis told jurors the photo was not taken to scale and should not be compared to the inked pattern taken from the defendant's shoes.
If convicted, Holman faces punishments of life in prison or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Tim Farley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-366-3539.