Testimony begins in trial of man accused of killing girlfriends daughter

Opening statements began this morning in the trial of a man charged with injury to a child. 32-year old Stephen Odom is accused of the January 2012 death of 3-year old Ja'Kyra Henderson.

Beaumont police responded to Calder Woods retirement center on January 15, 2012 where Ja'Kyra was found dead. The child's mother, Keneste Lennette, worked at Calder Woods and was planning to take her daughter to the emergency room after work.

Odom was the boyfriend of Lennette, who was unemployed at the time and took care of Ja'Kyra during the day.

According to Lennette, the little girl had been sick since November 2011, but had been diagnosed with a stomach virus two weeks prior to her death.

An autopsy of the toddler revealed her cause of death was homicide from complications of blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

Lennette said she never saw anyone hit her children and that they never complained about anyone hurting them. But after the autopsy results revealed abuse and Odom stopped cooperating with police, she asked him to move out.

"After the funeral, CPS was involved and they said Stephen was not allowed around my son. It caused a lot of stress, and I didn't understand why he wouldn't cooperate (with police.)"

Other witnesses called to the stand today included police officers, who took photos of the child's injuries after she died, and co-workers of Lennette who helped administer CPR and called 911 when they found the child unresponsive.

Testimony resumes tomorrow morning in Judge John Steven's court.


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