Testimony continues in Kelley baby death trial
Hobart woman, 31, has been charged with killing of 3-month-old
July 16, 2010
BY RUTH ANN KRAUSE, POST-TRIBUNE CORRESPONDENT
The tears started flowing when the bassinet that held her dead son was set up in the courtroom during the jury trial of a Hobart woman.
Kimberly Amber Kelley, 31, cried as the pale green bassinet was positioned next to the witness stand where Hobart police investigator Cory Hanrahan testified about the evidence he collected in the Nov. 13, 2008, death of 3-month-old Nathan Wisniewski at Kelley’s boyfriend’s home on West 8th Street.
Kelley, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and neglect of a dependent in her baby’s death, was charged two days after the baby was found.
Kelley had told police she fed the baby and laid him on his back in the bassinet. The infant died of asphyxiation due to extrinsic compression that prevented his lungs from expanding with air.
Thursday’s proceedings before Lake Superior Court Judge pro tem Michael Lambert were marked by contentious exchanges. Kelley’s boyfriend, Kent Kreischer, blamed the Hobart police and prosecutor’s office for a botched investigation, while defense attorney Teresa Hollandsworth brought out during her questioning of former Lake County Coroner David Pastrick that she had to get a court order to force him to turn over the autopsy report.
Pastrick said he had no explanation for why the report, which was completed Jan. 31, 2009, wasn’t turned over to Hollandsworth and deputy prosecutors Jamise Perkins and Aleksandra Dimitrijevic until March 16, 2009.
Pastrick acknowledged his office issued a news release on Nathan’s death on Nov. 17, 2008, a day before the death certificate was signed and about 10 weeks before the autopsy report was finalized. Pastrick, who served two terms as coroner, now works as an investigator in the Lake County prosecutor’s office.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mary Ann Jones, Kelley’s obstetrician, said she had told Kelley to quit smoking during the pregnancy, but she didn’t. Jones said Kelley was at risk for an early delivery after having one premature baby who died. Jones said Kelley also was using a breast pump prior to giving birth, which can cause premature labor.
Jones said Kelley was taking anti-depressants during her pregnancy, which is not uncommon and is not harmful to the unborn baby.
“She was a hard person to read,” Jones said. Kelley seemed unhappy and often wouldn’t look her in the eye when she spoke to her, Jones said, but Kelley did talk with Jones about her relationship problems.
Kreischer, Kelley’s boyfriend, said when he first met her on Sept. 11, 2008, she made it clear she was involved in a relationship. Within a few weeks, Kelley and the baby’s father were no longer together and Kelley had moved in with Kreischer. A few days before Nathan died, Keith Wisniewski, the baby’s father, was given temporary custody of the infant. Kelley brought the baby to Kreischer’s home the night before the baby died. The trial is expected to conclude today.