Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Killing Toddler

The murder trial has begun for a 22 year old man accused of killing his girlfriend's daughter.

Javon Jennings, is facing of charge of First Degree Murder in the April 2018 death of 16 month old Jazlynn Harshbarger, who suffered a number of injuries including a broken leg.

Prosecutors believe Jennings was the sole caretaker of Jazlynn when she was fatally injured but defense attorneys have a different theory.

On the stand Wednesday, Jazlynn's mother, Cierra Harshbarger, said she did not kill her daughter and that she left her child with Jennings while she went to work. She then testified that when she returned to her Council Bluffs apartment, Jennings told her the child was sick.

Harshbarger said she comforted the child and put her to sleep, but around 4:30 in the morning Jennings came to her with Jazlynn. She was cold and limp. Jennings called 911 but it was in vain, Jazlynn was already dead.

Under cross examination, defense attorneys said all the evidence implicated Harshbarger. They pointed to inconsistencies between her testimony Wednesday and statements she made earlier in the investigation to police. Harshbarger had previously told detectives that Jennings was the last person to care for Jazlynn, but under cross examination Harshbarger admitted that she was the last person to give care to the child when she comforted her and put her to sleep.

More of Jazlynn's family members will be called to testify when the trial continues Thursday.

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