More about the trial
Jury selection started Monday morning in the second trial for a Lawrence man charged with the child-abuse killing of his 5-month-old daughter.
The first trial for Jay D. Decker, 27, ended in a mistrial this summer when a police interview surfaced that hadn't been sent to prosecutors. Decker is charged with killing Risha J. Lafferty, who was found dead with numerous head and upper-body injuries in October 2005 at Edgewood Homes, 1600 Haskell Ave.
The baby's mother, Brandi Mae Hendrickson, is a key witness in the case and is charged with child endangerment for failing to report the baby's injuries in the days leading up to the death. In Decker's first trial, defense attorneys sought to shift blame for the death to Hendrickson.
Witnesses say both the mother and father of a baby who died of child abuse last fall have unsavory incidents in their past involving abuse or rough handling of children.
Earlier this month, Judge Paula Martin ruled that testimony about those prior incidents can be used at the trial.
But Martin also ruled that Hendrickson could testify about a 2003 incident in Texas, in which she alleges Decker choked the couple's older child after he had been drinking.