Kaleb McKay’s mother has dismissed prosecutors’ suggestion that she adjusted her testimony in a murder trial to “protect” the man accused of murdering the child.
Jordan Brownell’s confrontation with Crown Attorney Mareike Newhouse occurred on Thursday afternoon, November 25, towards the end of several days on the witness stand in the murder trial of Denim Henderson.
Henderson has pleaded not guilty of second degree murder, aggravated assault, and failure to care for Kaleb, who was nine months old when he suddenly died in late 2016.
The court heard an autopsy that found Kaleb sustained numerous injuries, including bruises and abrasions, and fractures to the skull, jaw, arm, leg, ribs and vertebrae before his death.
Henderson was living in an apartment in Oshawa with Brownell and her children at the time of Caleb’s death on December 29, 2016, the court said. During her days on the witness stand last week, Brownell has repeatedly claimed that she had never seen Henderson get angry or abusive towards her children.
Brownell also testified that she ended her relationship with a man before living with Henderson because he was aggressive with the children. By contrast, she said Henderson was “great” with the kids. She denied any knowledge of Kaleb’s injuries prior to the child’s death.
Newhouse challenged Brownell – a key witness – over a series of inconsistencies between Brownell’s court testimony and statements she gave to Durham police during an investigation into Caleb’s death in early 2017.
“You’re trying to protect Mr. Henderson,” suggested Newhouse.
“It has nothing to do with Mr. Henderson,” replied Brownell, 29. “It has to do with my son.”
During her long stint in the stands, Brownell said she saw Henderson lay Caleb in his crib for a nap on the day the child died – a critical time as the Crown claims Kaleb was to this Serious injuries may have been suffered at this point – and nothing out of the ordinary has been seen. Henderson was calm when he put Caleb down for his nap, Brownell said.
“(Henderson) was fine when he went in (the bedroom) and fine when he came out,” she said.
About four hours later, paramedics who responded to an emergency call at the apartment pronounced Kaleb dead, the court heard.
In cross-examination of defense attorney Tom Balka, Brownell re-insisted that Henderson had not harmed Kaleb.
“Did denim do anything to hurt the child?” Asked Balka.
“No,” answered Brownell. “Not once.”
The trial continues in Oshawa.