Daycare worker charged in baby's death back in court

Ashley Reifer
Ashley Reifer

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Former daycare worker, 24-year-old Ashley Reifer, was back in front of Judge Chip Moore on Thursday. Reifer is going to stand trial for the 2010 death of a 2-month-old infant Brody Hopper.

Prosecutors requested to enter additional crimes evidence; specifically the hearing was to determine whether a 2008 incident in which a 7-month old child who broke his arm while under Reifer's care would be added. Prosecutors wanted the possible second charge to be admissible at the trial.

Reifer, who worked at Busy Bee Daycare in Baker, LA was never officially charged in the second incident. She is free on bond in the Hopper case; however, she is bound to a curfew under her parent's control.

However prosecutors withdrew the motion before the judge got started. "In subsequent investigation and talking with some expert witnesses I made the determination, under my obligations as a prosecutor, to withdraw the motion at this time," says Prosecutor Steve Danielson.

Brody Hopper was pronounced dead at Lane Memorial hospital October 28th, 2010. An autopsy reported he died of "traumatic brain injury." The autopsy was performed by Dr. Bruce Wainer who testified in a hearing last year. Traumatic brain injury is also known as shaken baby syndrome.

Then the defense then filed a motion to get evidence from the state.  The defense wants tissue samples from the original samples taken from the victim. "When we get access to those slides it's going to show that there isn't any trauma to the child. Brodie did not die from trauma," says defense attorney Lance Unglesby.

"I think his motion is incorrect," says prosecutor Danielson. "He's asking not just that we provide these tissue samples these slides to their expert witness. But that we re-do the testing procedure which is a very very complicated procedure."

Either way both sides will be back in court in 60 days.

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