The Wayne County Outlook

Local News

February 19, 2013

Murder trial goes to jury

2-20-13 —  Jury deliberations continued at press time on Monday evening in the  murder trial of Kayla Lord and Jared Futrell. The two were charged in  connection with the July 2011 death of Lord's son,17-month-old  Staten Stephenson.

    The case actually went to the jury late Monday afternoon, a week  after the panel was selected in Wayne Circuit Court.

    Opening arguments in the case began on Tuesday, February 12, when  prosecutors stated that the toddler died of four separate injuries to  his head and stomach. They discussed what they called a pattern of  abuse that occurred to the toddler.

    "He had various bruises and scrapes and things like that on his  body," stated Commonwealth's Attorney Matthew Leveridge, as he  addressed the jury that included eight men and six women.

    Prosecutors said that when Staten was brought into the hospital on  July 16, 2011, his body temperature had dropped more than 18 degrees.

    "When he arrived his stomach was distended and swollen; he was  having trouble breathing," stated Leveridge.

    A statement that Lord made, right after her son died at the  University of Kentucky Hospital, be-came part of the Com-monwealth's  case, as they began to present evidence.

    "Me and some of the other nurses heard the mother say, ‘I killed  him,'" said Dr. Brett Elmore, who was the doctor who took the toddler  off life support.

    Defense attorney Jim Cox argued that statement was made while Lord  was crying after she agreed to take the boy off life support. His  argument is that Lord and Futrell rushed Staten to the hospital after  a severe choking incident and some other injuries may have occurred  while they were trying to help him.

    "They were grasping at anything because they did not understand.  They did not know. All they knew is that we have to to help him and  got to get him revived," Cox stated.

    The defense concluded testimony in the case on Monday morning,  February 18, and closing statements were made by the attorneys that  afternoon.

    See next week's Outlook for details on the verdict.

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