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El Dorado couple will go to trial for death of toddler

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June 05, 2012|by Susan Gager | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(EL DORADO, Kan.) — Prosecutors say she was covered in bruises, and lost six teeth before going to the hospital. Tuesday a judge rules a couple will go to trial in the death of an El Dorado toddler. Alyssa Haag and Justin Edwards were in court for a preliminary hearing. They're charged with murder in the death of Haag's 18-month-old daughter Jayla.

“Sometimes it sounded like things were hitting the wall. So I don’t know if that would have been Jayla.  Sometimes I would wake up and hear her crying and then she would just go silent and then I’d hear her gasping for air like she was being choked,” said roommate Jennifer Quarter.

Quarter describes suspicious noises she heard baby Jayla endure. Friends and family were brought to tears over the depiction. She also told police Justin would sometimes pop the 18 month old in the mouth, though she on stand she says she never saw it.    


“I observed multiple bruises, torso, face, neck, multiple bruises. She was missing several teeth along the front line of her jaw,” said detective Chris Jones.

The coroner said those teeth appeared to have been removed by force and the details of abuse continued to unfold.

“He punished her like he did his own kids.  If they bit someone, they would bite their own kid to teach them not to do that,” said detective Chad Young.

Combined with environment mired in methamphetamine and other drug usage the judge made his decision.

“The court does find that the state has shown probably cause  to believe that Justin Edwards killed Jayla Haag as a result of child abuse on her,” said chief judge David Ricke.

He says he also holds mother Alyssa Haag responsible too for putting her in such a dangerous situation.

The couple will be tried separately in front on a jury in August.

Preliminary hearing in death of El Dorado toddler
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