Friday, April 4, 2014

Jasmine Eskew: Found not guilty of deliberate homicide in daughter's death; Convicted of assault on a minor; Her lawyer's had argued that her confession that she had violently shaken the infant was falsely elcited by leading questions posed by police detectives at a time when she was under immense emotional strain; The Tribune;

STORY: "Jasmine Eskew found not guilty in daughter's death; convicted of assault on a minor," by reporter Eric Dietrich, published by the Tribune on April 4, 2014.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Jasmine Eskew hugs her mother Patti Eskew after being acquitted of deliberate homicide and found guilty of assault on a minor for the 2012 death of her 6-month-old daughter.

GIST: "Eskew’s daughter Brooklynn was rushed to the Benefis emergency room Sept. 18, 2012, after Eskew called 911 to report that the child was having trouble breathing. The infant was pronounced brain dead two days later at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, where she was airlifted for treatment. In an emotional interview in the hours following her daughter’s hospitalization, Eskew, then 21, told detectives that she had been alone with Brooklynn in the home she shared with her parents and had violently shaken the infant. She was arrested at the interview’s conclusion. State public defenders representing Eskew did not contest that the infant died as a result of abuse but sought to persuade the jury it was possible Brooklynn’s injuries could have been inflicted by Greg Robey, Eskew’s boyfriend of two weeks. Her confession, Eskew’s lawyers argued, was falsely elicited by leading questions posed by police detectives at a time when she was under immense emotional strain. Her client is often perceived to be socially impaired by people who know her, said Jennifer Streano, Eskew’s lead attorney. While intelligent, Eskew is naive and easily manipulated, she said. False confessions do happen, Streano told the jury. “Innocent people will say they do things they didn’t do.” Public defenders also held that medical evidence about the cause of Brooklynn’s fatal injuries failed to match the details provided in Eskew’s statement to police. A medical examiner concluded that the infant died as a result of blunt force trauma. “Nothing indicates that she was shaken,” Streano argued in her closing statement. “What Brooklynn had was a massive skull fracture.” The prosecution’s explanation of the incident, Streano said, failed to account for a blow to the head.

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