Man charged in infant’s death appears in court Tuesday

Man charged in infant’s death appears in court Tuesday

WARRICK Co., Ind. (WFIE) - The trial between the State of Indiana and Thaddius Rice began Tuesday.

Rice is charged with murder and neglect of a child resulting in death.

[Previous: Trial date set for man accused of murdering baby]

Ten-month-old Jaxson Wheeler died in April of 2017. An autopsy shows he died from cerebral edema and hemorrhage due to blunt head trauma.

Rice had been watching the child.

Our Aria Janel attended the trial. She says, they are still in jury selection, and 12 jurors will be chosen.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors asked potential jurors questions Tuesday. Some jurors were asked to leave due to health reasons or conflicts of interest.

According to the defense, this trial will be in two parts, where the jury will decide if Rice is innocent or guilty.

If they find him guilty, they will then decide if Rice should get life without parole or allow the judge to determine the number of years he will serve.

Investigators say Rice told them he was walking down apartment stairs with Jaxson when he says he lost his footing and woke up at the bottom of the stairs.

Rice said Jaxson was not breathing and he dropped him off at the ER. Police said Rice has changed his story several times during questioning.

The defense says this trial could last up to two weeks.

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