Iniubong Ebong is facing murder charges in the November 2010 death of his daughter Indiya Ebong.
In the first five minutes of the trial's opening statements, prosecutor Anna Emmons began crying. Through tears, she wasted no time in telling the jury about the injuries doctors say led to five-month-old Inidya Ebong's death.
"Sweet baby, she had bruising on her abdomen, suffered from 24 broken ribs and bones," Emmons said. "Her liver was in pieces."
Prosecutors claim it was her father Inu Ebong who beat her so hard, she died. It was the day after Thanksgiving in 2010 and he was caring for her while her mother worked a Black Friday shift at a local Walmart.
"This was his worst nightmare," said defense attorney Emily Detoto. "Losing a child is a nightmare. Being accused of killing that child only makes the nightmare worse."
Defense attorneys claim Ebong had texted the baby's mother throughout the day expressing concern because she was unresponsive. They claim the infant's mother dismissed his concerns and it wasn't until she arrived home from work that she noticed something was wrong.
"Understandably, the mom was frantic and was full of adrenaline and performed CPR although she really didn't know what she was doing," Detoto told the jury. "Our theory is that she contributed to the injuries."
Authorities say Ebong first claimed the baby had been fine all day and didn't know why she died. In a second statement he allegedly said he dropped the baby. And finally, authorities say he claimed he "tapped" the baby in the chest several times because she had been crying and he wanted to discipline her.
A nurse who worked on the baby the night of her death testified she knew something was terribly wrong as soon as she saw the mother carry the baby in to the emergency room. The baby's body, she said, was stiff and lifeless. The nurse also testified she's never had an infant die from injuries sustained during CPR.
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