Pandemic rules block family from courtroom during babysitter’s trial

(Photo Supplied/Whitley County Sheriff)

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WOWO): The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping the parents of an 11-month-old from being involved in the trial of a woman accused of the child’s death.

30-year-old Courtney Kincaid is charged with aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent in the April 2018 death of Emma Grace Leeman, but pandemic restrictions mean that the Whitley County courtroom where her trial is taking place is limited to the judge, jury, attorneys, witnesses, and the defendant.

Emma’s mom, Sherry Leeman, tells our Partners in News at ABC 21 it hurts:

“I think there’s a sort of organic feel when you have the jury in the room with the victim’s parents and family and supporters and you hear the gasps or you hear the emotion coming from the gallery and they (the jurors) don’t have the benefit of understanding what we’re actually feeling right now,” she says.

Police say Kincaid admitted to dropping the child on her head onto concrete while babysitting her. A verdict could come down by the end of the day tomorrow.

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