Trial Begins Against Father in Martinsburg Child Abuse Case


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Opening statements were given Tuesday in the trial of James Mauldin, who’s accused of killing his 3-year-old son, Kaiwon Connelly.

Mauldin is also charged with one count of child abuse, causing serious bodily and malicious assault.

”Specifically he died from head trauma and he was severely burned, and that is the information we will give to the jury throughout this trial,” Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said.

Connelly was pronounced dead on New Year’s Day in 2012.

”We're hoping to get as many witnesses as possible,” Games-Neely added. “We're starting with emergency personnel obviously, then we'll proceed with some other witnesses we have in this regard, and then we'll continue over the next two days.”

Games-Neely stated that the child was abused under Mauldin’s supervision. Defense Attorney, Christopher Prezioso stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Mauldin could have abused the child.

Mauldin’s former girlfriend, Jasmine Dawkins, who is not the biological mother of the child, was previous tried earlier this year.

She was convicted for her role in the child's death on two counts of gross child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury and single counts of presentation of false information regarding a child's injuries in the death of Connelly.

The trial will continue through Thursday.

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