We just received word that the jury has reached a verdict in the trial of accused child killer Jason Obermiller. The jury finds Obermiller not guilty of second degree murder.
Obermiller testified earlier this week that he did not kill Adalynn Hoyt.
His defense attorneys asked him questions about how he cared for her and Lovina Rainey’s other children. He was also asked about that night in September. He testified that she was alive when he waved goodbye to her that night, saying that he even blew her kisses.
But as the prosecutors cross-examined him, Obermiller began visibly shifting in his seat. They asked him about his warrant that was issued on July 2016. Obermiller previously testified that the reason why he didn’t go back to the house after he found out that Adalynn wasn’t breathing was because he didn’t want to be arrested because of that warrant.
The prosecutors questioned that because, as they asked him, Obermiller had stayed in Spokane even after that warrant was issued. They say no one could get in touch with him after he found out that Adalynn had died.
As the defense took over the line of questioning again, Obermiller responded to their questions saying he wouldn’t ever hurt Adalynn.
Court documents released last year say that Obermiller was left alone with Hoyt. Investigators say the girl's cause of death is "abdominal trauma from a kick or punch."
Court documents show the mother had a relationship with Obermiller, who would stay at her house and sleep in a bedroom, but the two had become "distant" over the last two weeks, but Obermiller still stayed there. Court documents say the mother brought home another man, who kissed her in front of Obermiller, which seemed to upset Obermiller. The mother and the other man left for a night of drinking and left her four children with Obermiller and two other adult roommates.
Court documents show the mother returned at around 3:30 to 4:00 a.m. the next morning and saw Obermiller's car was not in the driveway and his bedroom door was closed. Court documents say the mother looked into Obermiller's room and saw Hoyt lying on the mattress and assumed she was sleeping (Additional court documents show the mother said she never checked on any of the children when she returned home.) The next morning, the mother noticed the other three kids were all awake, but her 2-year-old daughter wasn't. She went back into the bedroom and saw the girl in the same position from when she checked on her hours earlier. She checked on the girl and found her arm stiff. Adalynn was dead.
The mother called Obermiller, according to court documents, who said he could not hear her and hung up.
Another roommate told detectives she called Obermiller after finding out the girl was dead. Obermiller told her he could not come to the house because he was checking himself into drug treatment.
Detectives responding to the scene said the girl's body had numerous small bruises on her body, including on the chest, abdomen, face and head. Dr. John Howard from the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office estimated the girl died within half an hour of sustaining the injury.
Obermiller was eventually arrested in a cabin on Lake Coeur d'Alene.
The jury announced the not guilty verdict Wednesday afternoon.
KHQ's Katie Chen was in the courtroom when it is announced.
(story and photo: KHQ.com)