9 things to know about the Kinsley Kinner case

9 things to know about the Kinsley Kinner case
Posted at 12:55 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 14:56:32-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- The Tri-State has followed the Kinsley Kinner for more than 10 months. The 2-year-old was found unconscious on the morning of Dec. 3 in Madison Township. 

Investigators were called in after doctors determined that the child’s injuries were “consistent with child abuse." Officials said scans showed bleeding in the girl’s brain.

Kinsley was not breathing when she was taken to the hospital that morning and died the following evening; she was declared brain dead and taken off life support.

Tuesday, a jury may decide the fate of Bradley Young, the ex-boyfriend of Kinsley's mom, Rebekah Kinner, who is charged in Kinsley's death.

Here are nine other details to note from the Kinsley Kinner case:

1) Kinsley Kinner had a nightmare the night before she died

The 2-year-old girl woke up, "screaming and crying," Rebekah Kinner said. It wasn't unusual for Kinsley to have nightmares, so Rebekah's boyfriend, Bradley Young, took Kinsley into the living room to watch cartoons, her mother said. Once the toddler dozed off, Rebekah said she went back to bed.

"The next thing I know I wake up and he's just standing there holding her with the lights on," Rebekah told the psychologist. She said she noticed Kinsley's eyes were open, but she wasn't blinking.

"She was breathing, but it was like very, very shallow...I knew something was wrong," Rebekah said.

Young claimed Kinsley had another nightmare and woke up screaming again, Rebekah said.

Less than 48 hours later, Kinsley died at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

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2) Rebekah Kinner is already serving prison time for Kinsley Kinner's death

Rebekah, 23, pleaded guilty to three charges in connection with her daughter's death: involuntary manslaughter, permitting child abuse and endangering children. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

While Butler County law enforcement officials have alleged her former boyfriend, Bradley Young, beat Kinsley to death and that Rebekah did nothing to stop it, she's denied that version of events. Instead, she's insisted to her psychologist, Dr. Robert Kurzhals, that she thought Young was perhaps disciplining Kinsley a bit too harshly.

She said Young hurt her, too -- and she was frightened of him.

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3) Rebekah Kinner's testimony was tossed out in Bradley Young's trial

A day after Rebekah took the stand in her former boyfriend's trial last week, a judge ordered her testimony be removed from the record.

Judge Keith Spaeth declared Kinner incompetent after she had trouble understanding and responding to questions in her testimony. The defense argued Kinner may have been intoxicated by her medications when she was on the stand.

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4) Rebekah Kinner claims Bradley Young attacked her, too

Rebekah claimed Young didn't just abuse Kinsley -- he abused her, too. She said he once punched her in the back while she was pregnant "to the extent she experienced a bloody discharge and she was subsequently placed on bed rest," a psychologist wrote. Young also punched her legs and pulled her around by the hair, Rebekah said.

And Young "had a thing with biting me," Rebekah said.

"He would just reach over and bite my arm or bite my face," she told the psychologist. "I could be just sitting there."

She never called the police, she said, because Young made her feel trapped.

"He told me, 'There's nowhere you can go or nowhere you can hide where I can't find you. I was trained to kill in the military and I can make it look like an accident,'" Rebekah said.

Rebekah told the psychologist she didn't "really think it was abuse," but she was scared.

"I kept telling myself things would change or maybe I was doing stuff to make him mad, and if I could just figure out what it was, he would stop and he would apologize and tell me he loved me or buy me whatever...I wanted or go out to eat," she said.

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5) A 911 operator tried to help Rebekah Kinner and Bradley Young save Kinsley

The night Rebekah found Kinsley unresponsive, Rebekah said Young initially took the phone from her when she tried to call 911.

An operator tried to guide her through CPR, she said, "but I was freaking out...her lips turned blue."

Young tried to perform CPR, she said.

"I was hoping he would be able to save her,'" Rebekah told the psychologist. At one point, Rebekah said, Young's roommate asked, "What the hell did you do, Brad?"

Kinsley was declared brain dead after her mother and Young were arrested. She was pronounced dead Dec. 3 at Children's Hospital; her family chose for her to become an organ donor.

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6) Kinsley's mom was pregnant when she was charged with her daughter's death

Rebekah Kinner was visibly pregnant at her arraignment and gave birth to Wyatt Matthew Kinner on Feb. 1.

Wyatt was placed in his biological father's custody when he was six weeks old. Jason White, Wyatt's father, is a "family friend" of the Kinners'.

"He seems to be very level-headed," Kyle Rapier, Rebekah Kinner's attorney, said. "He has two children from a prior marriage. He works."

Kinsley Kinner's father, Scott Senft, initially believed he was Wyatt's father, but a paternity test showed otherwise. Rapier said Rebekah Kinner was ending her relationship with Senft when she had a relationship with White.

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7) Two judges recused themselves in Young's trial

Two judges and a prosecutor removed themselves from the trial of Bradley Young.

In April, Young's attorneys tried to have the charges against the client dismissed, saying that his rights were violated when deputies heard a portion of a phone call between Young and his attorneys,

While jail phone calls are recorded as part of standard procedure, the defense team wrote that Young made the calls at a phone "outside of the customary area for calls to be made." None of the phone calls in question "were preceded by the customary recorded warning stating among other things, that 'the telephone call was being recorded, except for privileged communications between attorney and client,'" they wrote.

However, Prosecutor Michael Gmoser wrote in a response that when deputies inadvertently heard a portion of a call between Young and Schiavone IV, they stopped listening. Several deputies submitted affidavits stating they stopped listening when they realized Young was speaking to his attorney, and both the prosecutor and an assistant prosecutor submitted affidavits stating they hadn't listened to the recordings and didn't know what was discussed.

Gmoser requested a special prosecutor be assigned to the case; John Arnold was assigned special prosecutor, but Gmoser eventually returned to the case.

Judge Michael Oster was assigned to the case, but recused himself in late April after a meeting with attorneys for both sides. Oster said he recused himself "based upon the nature of the type of case it is and what is going on."

Judge Keith Spaeth was, again, assigned to the case.

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8) Kinsley was an organ donor

Kinsley's organs were donated and were able to help at least two children. One child, Wyatt, was born with a congenital heart defect transposition of the great arteries, which leaves a shortage of oxygen in blood. Wyatt received Kinsley's lungs one day after she died.

Kinsley's father said he knew one other organ was donated, but he was unsure of which and to whom.

"My daughter passed, but she's like passing on through everybody in the world," Senft said. "I had people from literally overseas try to contact me to help me out with everything."

Wyatt's surgery was a success, his family said in a Facebook post.

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9) The jury toured the house where Kinsley was said to be abused

It's rare for juries to tour the home of a deceased victim, but the prosecution and defense teams agreed early in the case that the jury in Bradley Young's case should see the Madison Township home where Young, Rebekah Kinner and Kinsley lived until Kinsley's death in Dec. 2015.

Defense attorneys Frank Schiavone III and Frank Schiavone IV requested that the jury physically visit the scene rather than rely on photos taken by investigators. The defense team argued the jurors need to see for themselves the proximity of the rooms in the house as well as the garage.

At a March hearing, prosecutors didn't object to the request, and Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth granted the motion.

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