By Conrad Dudderar
A jury trial in a Yukon baby’s death is due to proceed this fall after a Canadian County judge denied the defendant’s request to suppress evidence.
Yukon’s Joshua Paul Jennings, 34, is charged with first-degree murder for causing the death of Paisley Cearley.
Jennings in September 2020 allegedly hurt the 10-month-old girl while she was in his care at an apartment south of Interstate 40 near Mustang Road.
The trial is due to begin Sept. 12 before District Judge Jack D. McCurdy in Canadian County District Court. Call docket announcement is set Aug. 18.
Judge McCurdy on July 21 denied defense motions to suppress and quash while determining the defendant’s confession was voluntary, according to court records.
After hearing testimony of sworn witnesses and arguments of counsel, the judge found “sufficient evidence for this case to go to trial.”
McCurdy reviewed a videotape of an encounter between Oklahoma City Police and Jennings and heard testimony from the detective who interviewed the defendant.
The judge found Jennings was “properly mirandized and his statements were freely and voluntarily given in both instances,” the court minutes show.
Jennings, represented by Norman attorney Michael J. Amend, faces death, life in prison or life without parole if convicted on the first-degree murder charge filed Oct. 20, 2020.
INCIDENT AT S.W. 5TH HOME
Assistant District Attorney Austin T. Murrey alleges Jennings caused the infant’s death “by willfully and/or maliciously injuring or using unreasonable force” and “thereby inflicting certain mortal wounds,” court records show.
Investigators believe the injuries to Paisley occurred at her home in the 11300 block of S.W. 5th.
Jennings was reportedly the boyfriend of the baby’s mother.
Oklahoma City Police officers responded Sept. 25, 2020, to a minor emergency clinic at 520 S Mustang Road after learning the baby was brought in with critical injuries.
The young victim was later taken to an area hospital where she died the next morning, according to Oklahoma City Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight.
The defendant remains held without bond at the Canadian County Jail in El Reno.
Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass, at a November 2021 preliminary hearing, found probable cause that Jennings committed the murder and bound the defendant over for trial.
Judge McCurdy confirmed that ruling at the July 21st hearing, finding there was sufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing to bind the defendant over for trial.