Foster Parents Found Guilty in Death of 2-Year-Old and Passing It Off as Choking Accident

Georgia couple Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum were both convicted on Thursday in the murder of their 2-year-old foster daughter Laila Marie Daniel.

Prosecutors said that the victim died on November 17, 2015. The defendants tried to pass this off as her choking to death after eating chicken, but medical examiners determined she sustained blunt force trauma to her abdomen, authorities said. Even the girl’s pancreas was separated in two pieces.

The defense insisted that this was an accident. Jennifer Rosenbaum allegedly said she performed the Heimlich maneuver to save Daniel.

Prosecutors from Cobb and Dekalb County took over the case because Jennifer Rosenbaum used to intern for the Henry County District Attorney’s Office.

Emergency room nurse Sarah Bohannon testified that she examined the victim, and told the parents about Daniel’s death. She claimed their behavior didn’t fit what usually happened during family notifications. Usually, relatives want to know what happened, but the Rosenbaums were quiet.

Joseph didn’t show a lot of emotion, while Jennifer rubbed her eyes saying she couldn’t cry anymore, Bohannan testified. This seemed out of the ordinary, said the nurse. Family members are usually beside themselves when notified about a relative’s death, especially if that relative is a child, she said.

“They’re sobbing,” she said. “They’re crying. They can be angry at times. They’re just distraught.” She did acknowledge that people react differently during these situations.

Authorities said both Daniel and her sister were physically abused. Nurse Crystal Bales testified at trial that she found 15 bruises and two abrasions on the other girl’s body after Laila’s death.

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