Trial Begins in Martinsburg Child Abuse Case


Published 11/04 2013 06:29PM

Updated 11/06 2013 04:49PM

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The trial for one of the people connected to the 2012 New Year's Day death of a three-year-old child started Monday in Berkeley County Circuit Court. 

Court officials say the trail for Jasmine Dawkins, 22, started late Monday afternoon following jury selection in the morning. Dawkins is on trial for playing a role in the death of three-year-old Kaiwon Connelly.

As we've reported, the toddler died after police say his father, James Mauldin, 20, beat and burned him. Kaiwon died at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Police say he had head trauma and scarring all over his body, including burns. Mauldin's girlfriend, Jasmine, was charged with child neglect. Police say she should have reported the abuse, but never did.

Her charges included counts of death of a child by custodian, counts of child neglect creating substantial risk of bodily injury, and counts of presentation of false information regarding a child's injuries in a death. 

County Prosecutor Pamela Neely and Defense Attorney Sherman Lambert made opening statements in court on Monday. A couple of witnesses were also called to the stand. According to the prosecution and defense attorney, the trial should go until Friday.

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