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Trial underway in Wayne Co. for couple charged in toddler's death

WAYNE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A murder trial is underway in south central Kentucky for two people charged in the death of a toddler.

Kayla Lord and her boyfriend, Jared Futrell are both charged for murder and criminal abuse. Prosecutors say the two killed Lord's 18-month-old son, Staten Stephenson back in July of 2011.

A Jury of 8 men and 6 women was seated Monday night. Opening statements began Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors say the toddler suffered a pattern of abuse while in the couple's care. Commonwealth's attorney Matthew Leveridge says the child was injured on July 16th and died 10 days later at UK Hospital.

Leveridge says the only people in Staten's care were Lord and Futtrell. He says a doctor will testify that Staten's injuries were caused by abuse, "She will also tell you that the abuse had to have occurred after the time in which Staten was last seen acting normally."

In the opening statement by the defense, attorneys countered that Staten died the result of a choking incident and that the couple did everything possible to get him help the morning of that incident.

Prosecutors also say Kayla Lord was overheard saying "I killed him" at UK hospital but one of the defense attorneys say that was an emotional response to agreeing to take him off life support.

The trial is expected to last until Friday.


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