SPOKANE, Wash. — The trial for a Spokane man accused of killing a baby in 2017 started Wednesday afternoon.
Joshua Mobley faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of 9-month-old Caiden Henry. Mobley was babysitting the child of his wife's co-worker.
The majority of the jury for the trial is made up of women.
In opening statements today, Prosecutor Shane Smith tried to appeal to the emotions of the case. Smith told the jury what they can expect to hear from various witnesses. Smith did not say anything out right to suggest Mobley is guilty of the baby's death.
"Each of those family members will come in and say that they did not see any bruises on Caiden's face," Smith said.
Meantime, the defense argues Mobley couldn't be the one who harmed the child. They said they don't know what happened to the baby after Mobley left him with his mother.
"We don't know what happened in that five hours after Josh Mobley left. But what we will expect the evidence will show, ladies and gentlemen, leading up to that time, every person that saw him came in will tell you he was normal," said Attorney Carl Oreskovich.
Oreskovich told the jury they don't dispute the nature of the child's injuries. He added the medical examiner will say in their testimony the timing of the child's injuries mean they either happened in the care of Mobley or Caiden's mother.
Investigation into baby Caiden's death
According to court documents, Mobley started babysitting Caiden in February 2017 while Mobley's wife and the child's mother, Crystal Henry, went to work.
On February 20 and 21, court documents said she took pictures of her son after she discovered bruises on his left cheek, forehead and left ear after he was babysat by Mobley.
On February 20, Crystal told detectives she noticed bruises on Caiden's body. When she asked Mobley about the injuries, the documents said he said something similar to "Caiden must have sustained the injuries banging his head on the wooden crib."
Six days later, documents say Mobley was again babysitting Caiden and sent Caiden's mother a picture of the 9-month-old sleeping in a chair that said "played until he couldn't." The mother told detectives this was odd since Mobley had never sent any picture texts like that in the past.
Later that night, documents said Mobley brought Caiden home and carried him into the home and placed him on the couch.
Newly filed documents in the case show the baby was in different clothing than what he had been wearing when he was picked up earlier that day. Caiden's mother told detectives it was almost as if Mobley was overly protective of Caiden and did not want her to touch him. She said Mobley told her to leave Caiden alone and let him sleep.
By 2:45 a.m., Crystal went to check on him and found that he was not breathing and cold to the touch, according to the documents.
An autopsy showed Caiden had hemorrhaging and bruising to the abdominal area, bruising to the back of the right lung and hemorrhaging to the brain. The medical examiner identified the cause of death as blunt force trauma.
In new court documents, officials state they observed what appeared to be a “unique impression type injury on the left side of Caiden Henry’s nose consistent with an object, possibly a piece of jewelry having four points similar to the four corners of a square.”
Investigators found Mobley had one wedding ring on his personal property. Investigators said in the court documents the ring had three diamond studs and each diamond had a four-prong mount surrounding the diamonds.
When detectives went to Mobley's home to speak to him about the baby's death. Mobley, at first, told officials he didn't have time to talk to them. He then said to detectives something similar to “Maybe I should talk to an attorney…”
Mobley awaits trial
Mobley has been free on bail while he awaited his trial. Back in November 2017, dozens gathered outside the Spokane County Courthouse to protest a judge’s decision to allow Mobley to go home with his wife and children.
In May 2018, a judge granted Mobley’s request to live with his parents, a home where five adults already live. He said he wanted to live there due to financial reasons and because his fourth child had just been born.
A motion filed by Attorney Dennis Cronin, who represents Caiden’s mother Crystal, objected to modifying his release conditions and claimed there is racial bias in the case.
“Although Mr. Mobley is charged with a most heinous crime involving a 10-month-old child in his house, he is nevertheless allowed contact with children. Most likely, if Mr. Mobley was black, he would not be released, let alone allowed contact, with children,” Cronin wrote.
According to the document, Mobley has claimed that he faces financial constraints necessitating the amendment of his release conditions. Cronin claims there is no indication as to what those constraints would be to support his claim.
The motion said Mobley has been able to post a sizable bail, take expensive trips with his family and can afford a “blue ribbon” lawyer who continual requests for modifications of his release conditions.