Jury finds man accused of killing South Hill toddler not guilty

KREM 2's Lindsay Nadrich reports on how the man accused of killing a South Hill toddler was found not guilty on Wednesday. (6-21-17)

SPOKANE, Wash.—Jason Obermiller, the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter was found not guilty of second degree murder on Friday.

The jury deliberated for a little more than a day before announcing the verdict.

Obermiller, 32, was accused of killing 2-year-old Adalynn (Addy) Hoyt at a home on Spokane’s South Hill in September. He was taken into custody after several days on the run, when he was located at a lake cabin near Worley.

Addy’s mother, Lovina Rainey told detectives she had left the girl in the care of Obermiller while she went out to party. Addy died from blunt force trauma to her stomach, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Obermiller will remain in custody, as he still faces federal drug charges.

 

PREVIOUSSuspect in toddler's death denies accusations on witness stand

The prosecution insisted Obermiller was guilty of second degree murder, arguing Obermiller was so mad at Rainey over a drug debt that he took his frustration out on Addy. They said they believed Obermiller planned to call Child Protective Services on Rainey, so he beat the child to ensure she would be taken away and a CPS investigation would be started.

"The state is not alleging that Mr. Obermiller set out to kill Adalynn Hoyt," Ervin said Tuesday. "What the state is alleging is that he set out to assault her, to hurt her, and therefore he caused her death as a result."

Defense Attorney Kevin Griffin during his closing statement, told the courtroom they had the wrong person.

Griffin went on to argue the detectives received bad information from the people in the house. He said it took the detectives two days after the murder to accuse Obermiller.

PREVIOUS:  Jury deliberating case of murdered South Hill toddler

The defense took issue with the prosecutors’ timeline in the case.

“It is much more likely that Adalynn Hoyt was killed by Lovina Rainey or Anthony Betcher sometime around 6:00 a.m.” said Griffin.

The defense said detectives should reopen the investigation because there were two other people in the home when she was murdered.

The defense reiterated that belief on Wednesday.

"We hope that the county will take a really strong look at this and go back and look at several other individuals that we've talked about throughout this trial and see if there is evidence that it may have happened from somebody else," Griffin said.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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