Trial day 4: October 2, 2019 –
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The trial for Aryn Lafferty has ended with a not guilty verdict on Thursday in Harrison County.
The session began with the current Executive Director, Alisha Daly, of the program being called to the stand. The prosecution asked Daly what a, “boo-boo report,” was and if one was filed for the alleged incident. She testified that she couldn’t remember if a report had been filed.
The defense then called Lafferty to the stand. Lafferty explained her job duties at the day care and denied ever knowing about the child’s injury or being told to handle the child any differently. Lafferty said that the parents never told her specific instructions.
Lafferty explained that she thought the child was bright. The defense then questioned her on the child’s biting habits and incident reports. Lafferty told the court that the child would bite in certain situations, multiple times per day. She also explained that she filed both “boo boo” and incident reports for the child previously.
The defense asked if she had shadowed to watch for biting, to which Lafferty said yes. The defense then spoke to the court about her education and training.
The defense then discussed Lafferty’s training, specifically if she ever received training on how to pick up a child or how to deal with a nursemaids elbow injury. Lafferty was not given either.
The defense had Lafferty watch the video at this time to explain what was going on in the video. She testifies that a chair is put down and the child tried to sit in it. When a separate child tried to sit in the chair as well, the girl became upset. The child then began kicking the other in the head.
Lafferty stated that she got up to remove the child from the situation to prevent her from biting. The defense asked if she was angry with the child, which Lafferty said that she was not. The defense also questioned her on how she deals with behavior, she said that she redirects the situation.
The video continues to be replayed for Lafferty to explain another situation. Lafferty stated that she picked up the child and removed her from the conflict. The defense asked Lafferty if she slammed the girl to the ground and to explain what happened afterwards. Lafferty testified that she did not and that the girl began to cry.
The defense questioned if Lafferty was was made aware of the injury at this point in time and if she knew why the girl was crying after the incident. Lafferty stated that she was unaware of the injury and that the child could have been upset for not getting her way.
Lafferty testified that she was trying to soothe the child after the incident and also checking to see if the child had a fever. The defense asked her if Sloan Arco, who testified previously, had tried to take the child away or intervene. Lafferty said that she did not intervene.
The video showed Lafferty checking on the child, trying to figure out what was wrong and why she was crying. The defense questioned if during the incident, was it apparent that the child needed medical attention, to which Lafferty said that she did not seem as though she did.
Lafferty testified that she took the child to the supervisor and explained the situation. She stated that was the moment in which she was informed of the child’s previous injury.
Lafferty then explained that she reentered the classroom with the child, where no one tried to remove the girl from her. Lafferty testified that the video showed the child hugging on her and that she began to wipe away hair from the girl’s face. The Director then comes into the video and began to look at the child’s arm.
The defense asked Lafferty if when she lifted the child, was she intending on harming the child. Lafferty stated that she never intended for harm to be caused.
Before the lunch, Lafferty testified that she started to fill out a report but wasn’t sure why she didn’t finish it. Lafferty also stated that she did not recall calling the child “Devil’s child” or “Demon Spawn”, screaming at her or call the child names while she was in the room.
Once session reconvened, Lafferty was asked if she thought it was appropriate to call a child names like “Devil’s Child” or “Satan’s Spawn,” she answered, “probably not.”
Lafferty was then asked to watch the video where she put the child down and explain why she did what she did. She testified that she did it to prohibit the child from a possible biting situation.
Lafferty was then asked if she heard a pop when picking up the child, she explained that she did not.
The prosecution then played audio from the first interview with the FBI police. They paused the tape to question responses. Lafferty answered that workers pick up children multiple times per day in a chaotic environment.
The prosecution then asked Lafferty if she had been made aware of a previous injury earlier in the month. This comes after Lafferty explained to FBI police in the tape that had she known of the injury, she wouldn’t have grabbed the child by her arm, instead by her armpits. Lafferty explained that she did not jerk the child in a hostile manner.
The defense asked one final question before the jury went into deliberation, “Did you purposely or intentionally cause the child harm.” To which Lafferty responded with, “no.”
After a short time, the jury returned with a not guilty verdict at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Harrison County Circuit Clerk Albert Marano.
Trial day 3: October 2, 2019 –
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The trial for Aryn Lafferty reached day three Wednesday in Harrison County.
The prosecution started Wednesday’s session by calling Kayla Knotts, a former coworker of Lafferty at Lasting Impressions. Knotts testified that she and Lafferty took child abuse training courses while working.
Knotts said that she did not feel comfortable working with Lafferty and often asked to switch shifts with other coworkers to avoid working with her.
Knotts also testified that she heard the child crying the day of the event for approximately 10 minutes. She identified the cry as the child being in pain, rather than being upset.
When the prosecution asked Knotts if Lafferty knew about the child’s injury, she stated that she and the other coworkers were informed by the father to be careful with his daughter because of her injury.
Knotts said that Lafferty called the girl “devil child” and “demon spawn.” She also testified that she only noticed affection from Lafferty to the child once.
The prosecution then asked Knotts if she had viewed the video evidence and for her opinions on it. Knotts testified that she did view the video and found it shocking.
The defense then began their cross examination, asking Knotts if she had been made aware of the video before it was brought to her by lawyers, to which she answered no.
The defense then informed the court of an incident where a different child than the victim received the wrong type of milk from the witness. They then asked if she was aware that the child was a bitter and to clarify who informed her of the child’s injury. Knotts stated that she was fully aware of the biting tendencies of the child and that the father was who informed her of the injury.
The prosecution then called Sloan Arco, a former ‘floater’ employee at Lasting Impressions to the stand.
Arco stated that Lafferty called the child “a general annoyance” and “the devil child.” She also stated that a “boo boo report” for the child slipping on a tile was filed the same day as the alleged incident
The prosecution showed Arco the video and asked that she narrate the scene, since she was there at the time. The defense objected to this, stating that Arco should just watch the video, not narrate.
Arco watched the video and did not narrate. The prosecution then asked her what was happening in the video. She testified that the child was fighting with another child over a chair.
The prosecution followed with asking if the child was crying and Arco said yes, that as soon as the child was pulled from the chair by Lafferty. Arco also stated that Lafferty seemed irritated that morning, she explained that this was a common occurrence with Lafferty.
Arco stated that she told her supervisor that it was an aggressive move by Lafferty. She explained that Lafferty was suspended from the job when the investigation opened.
The defense asked Arco if she heard the name calling directly, to which she agreed that she did. They then asked if Lafferty said the names in front of the child or just to her. Arco stated that the names were stated out loud, and in passing.
The video is show again, the defense states that it shows Arco pulling the arm of the child during the dispute over the chair Arco denies this and states that she just touched the child to redirect her.
The defense asked if Arco would step in if she thought she was intentionally inflicting pain on a child, to which she said yes.
The defense then questioned why Arco did not intervene for three minutes. Arco said that she had seven other children to worry about and that Lafferty had the child, even though the child was still screaming. The defense asked why police or CPS weren’t notified. Arco said she thought telling her supervisor was enough.
The defense pointed out that Lafferty seemed to be consoling the child after the events, to which Arco agreed.
After a lunch break, the prosecution called Tiffany Davis to the stand. Davis is the lead teacher at Lasting Impressions and was Lafferty’s supervisor. Davis stated that she did hear Lafferty call the child names, not to the child’s face, but while the child was in the room.
The defense asked if Davis was aware of the child’s issues with biting. She agreed that the child bites more than others at the day care. They also asked if it’s important to intervene quickly when they see a situation where a child might bite, to which she testified that it is. Davis said that when she saw the video, she believed it was not intentionally done.
The prosecution then called Tyler Foster, a former employee at Lasting Impressions, to the stand. Foster stated that she witnessed the child going towards the door and Lafferty moving her away from the door and also calling her a “devil child.”
The defense countered with asking if Lafferty had called the child by a name to her face, to which Foster stated that it was spoken out loud.
The prosecution then called the current Executive Director of the program at the time of the incident, Alisha Daly, to the stand. The prosecution showed files to the jury that there is mandatory child abuse training and had Daly walk the jury through Lafferty’s complete file.
They showed the jury the file in which Lafferty was reprimanded for inappropriately calling the child names, a termination letter because of alleged incident and previous warnings.
The defense asked Dily to explain the mandatory child abuse training. They then asked her if Lafferty had any training on how to pick up a child. Daly testified that she did not.
The defense then discussed the biting reports of the child. Daly stated that there were 68 separate occasions of biting reported. The defense then asked if that was a high number, if it is reasonable to intervene when a bite is about to occur and if it is important to move quickly. Daly answered yes to all of these questions.
Daly also stated that she was not informed about the nursemaids elbow nor did she receive any specific instructions on how to deal with the situation.
The prosecution decided to rest and the jury goes on a break. While on a break, the defense asked for judgement of an acquittal due to lack of proof by state that the act was intentional.
The court denied the acquittal and will allow the prosecution to proceed.
Trial is set to continue Thursday.
Trial day 2: October 1, 2019 –
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A trial continued Tuesday in Harrison County for Aryn Lafferty.
The prosecution called a doctor from South Charleston, W.Va., who specializes in forensics for abuse and neglect cases, as well as clinical psychology, to be admitted as an expert in forensic psychology.
The doctor testified that Lafferty’s behavior on tape was deliberate. The prosecution asked how the doctor came to that conclusion, and he explained the characteristics of someone who may abuse others. The doctor also said there are records of Lafferty being reprimanded for calling a child names.
The doctor said he looked at negative patterns before the incident, specifically the complaints from fellow employees about Lafferty, and not wanting to work with her because of her behavior.
The doctor then reviewed the video evidence and stated the Lafferty aggressively goes after the child after the situation had been resolved by another daycare worker.
The prosecution asked for the doctor’s final opinion, and he stated his belief that the act was intentional.
During the defense’s cross examination, they asked the doctor if he is a medical doctor, to which he answered that he is not a medical doctor, but he has a Ph.D.
They followed with asking the doctor if he had ever diagnosed Lafferty or the child involved. When the doctor answered no, the defense stated that his conclusion was based on secondhand information and not interviewing anyone involved.
The victims’s mother also testified. She discussed the process of checking the child into the daycare that is located on the FBI campus and how she was able to speak to teachers daily about her child.
She also said that she had informed the daycare not to pick up the girl by her arms because of a previous nursemaid’s elbow injury. The mother testified that she took her daughter to the emergency room where she was then diagnosed with nursemaid’s elbow.
The defense revealed through testimony that the girl had been diagnosed with the condition four times, and the mother wasn’t sure if she had told Lafferty about the previous cases.
The state ended Tuesday’s examination with asking the mother when her child was officially removed from the daycare. The mother said that she removed her from the program once she was made aware of the video evidence.
The trial is set to continue Wednesday.
Stay with 12 News as we continue to update this story.
Trial day 1: September 30, 2019 –
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A trial has started in Harrison County for a daycare worker was accused of dislocating a child’s elbow in 2018.
Aryn Lafferty, 25, is charged with felony child abuse by a parent or guarding resulting in injury. Lafferty worked at Lasting Impressions Child Development Center, where the alleged incident happened.
In opening statements, the prosecution stated that Lafferty didn’t like the child and referred to her with nicknames such as “Devil child.”
The prosecution also said Lafferty and other daycare workers were notified that the child had an injury to her wrist and was advised not to pick her up by the arms. The prosecution then stated that there is video evidence of Lafferty jerking the child up by both arms in an aggressive manner.
FBI Police Officer Joseph Bush interviewed Lafferty and stated that she had multiple accounts of what happened. Bush reviewed security footage and then proceeded to arrest Lafferty.
After the incident, the 21-month-old girl was taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with nursemaid’s elbow.
The defense countered that the type of injury the girl sustained is very common. They also stated that the girl’s father had caused an initial injury while removing her jacket.
Two witnesses also testified Monday. An IT specialist at the FBI who runs the security systems and video for the daycare said that there are nine cameras in the area where the incident took place.
Officer Bush was asked to watch the video evidence to get his opinion. The jury also watched the security footage at this time.
The trial is set to continue Tuesday.
Stay with 12 News as we continue to provide you with updated information.