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Emotional closing arguments in mummified baby trial

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jun 04 2014 08:07:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 04 2014 11:11:17 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

Attorneys gave their final pitches to jurors Wednesday in the Jessica Bradford murder trial.

The case is now in the hands of the jury as they deliberate the future of Bradford.

The trial wrapped up two weeks earlier than planned and was briefly halted during the middle of closing arguments when a juror was questioned about calling Shasta County Senior Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kafael a "bitch" during the questioning of a witness in open court.

The comment was reported by another juror and confirmed by others that they had heard it.

The juror denied making the comment but the Judge ultimately ruled the juror was lying and dismissed him.

He was replaced with another juror.

Wednesday morning Kafael, wasted no time in her closing arguments saying, "This baby never, ever had a chance to live."

Kafael said baby Lily, the infant Bradford is accused of killing was an "it" to her.

"It was a not child to her," continued Kafael.

According to the Senior DA, Bradford knew what labor was and was well aware she was pregnant.

Kafael heatedly told the jury, "She took better care of her hamster."

Kafael said at least the hamster had a name, food and water and that the hamster lived next to Bradford's bed, while the mummified baby was in a pile of clothes on the floor.

Kafael called Bradford selfish.

"This is all about her."

Kafael said during the time of the baby's short life Bradford went to Winco, where food and milk were readily available for the baby.

But she didn't buy anything for the child, instead she drank alcohol and ate cookies.

Kafael explained it is a parent's legal duty to help, care for and rescue their child.

She said failing to do so equates to the killing of a child.

Kafael also explained the baby was only named Lily because Bradford was forced to name her after the autopsy and that Bradford showed no remorse.

Kafael also told the jury at one point Bradford admitted to investigators she starved the baby.

The DA said the fact that Bradford told investigators she was weighing her options indicates premeditated murder.

Kafael said there is no mental defense Bradford didn't know what to do. She was an adult.

In his closing argument, defense attorney, Johnathan Jordan argued Bradford should not be found guilty of first degree murder. Jordan said if Bradford really wanted to kill the baby, all she would have to do is walk 30 feet and dump her in the woods and leave.

"I can tell you there are enough animals there to take care of it," said Jordan.

But he said she didn't do that because that's what a murderer does and she's not a murderer.

At the time of the baby's death Bradford was working at the Julian Youth Academy in Whitmore, which is located in an isolated area.

Jordan argued for murder charges to apply you have to believe she wanted to kill her baby but said there's still no direct evidence indicating exactly how the baby died.

Jordan said his client tried to breastfeed and give the baby water but she didn't want to hurt it. The attorney also said the case of Bradford giving birth before and the baby dying is a completely different situation and should not be compared to the case at hand.

Jordan questioned the murder charge, saying, "When you murder a baby do you keep it in your bedroom?"

Jordan told the jury, "I don't believe any crime was committed except [Jessica] being who she is. She did the best she could."

Besides first degree murder, Bradford could also be convicted of second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter.