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Jury convicts Spokane babysitter of beating 10-month-old baby to death

UPDATED: Wed., June 26, 2019

A Spokane County jury on Wednesday convicted Joshua J. Mobley, 31, of beating a 10-month-old baby to death. Mobley was babysitting Caiden Henry in 2017 when the infant suffered more than a dozen blows to the head that ultimately killed him.

Mobley, who had been allowed to remain out of custody after posting a $250,000 bond, was ordered to be detained in the Spokane County Jail following the verdict in the two-week long trial. Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich said his client faces up to life in prison after the jury found him guilty of second-degree murder and that the infant boy was a particularly vulnerable victim.

“It was really about justice for baby Caiden,” Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Stefanie Collins said after the verdict. “It doesn’t bring Caiden back, but it holds his killer accountable and affords his mother the opportunity to at least start the process of healing.”

Oreskovich, who argued in his closing statement Tuesday that Caiden’s mother, Crystal Henry, may have caused the injuries that killed her infant son, asked Superior Court Judge Julie McKay to allow Mobley to remain out of custody pending sentencing. The judge denied the ruling and ordered transport deputies to take him into custody.

“Once he and his family get past the shock of the verdict, we will decide what the next step will be,” Oreskovich said.

The jury deliberated for about two hours Wednesday after attorneys finished hours of closing arguments Tuesday. The case began when Caiden was discovered dead by his mother in the early morning hours of Feb. 27, 2017, after he had spent hours in the care of Mobley.

Because of the capacity crowd, McKay moved the verdict to a larger courtroom.

When McKay read the verdict, Mobley looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as members of his family gasped and his wife, Jennifer, began crying.

As the attorneys walked past the Mobley family, one woman called Collins, the prosecutor, a derogatory name. Spokane police Detective Jeff Barrington, who was with Collins, looked at the woman who yelled and said, “Really?”

Jennifer Mobley, who previously worked with Crystal Henry and helped care for Caiden, had no comment when she was approached following the jury’s decision.

In addition to finding Joshua Mobley guilty of killing Caiden, the jury also found that Caiden was a particularly vulnerable victim. As a result of that enhancement, McKay could sentence Mobley up to life in prison at the sentencing, which she scheduled for Aug. 9.

Oreskovich argued his client should remain out of custody pending that sentencing.

“He has been released since shortly after his arrest” in February 2017, he said. “He is home with his children with supervision. He has shown the ability to comply with the court’s orders. I ask you to continue the release conditions as they are.”

Collins told McKay the “risk of flight is substantial” following the guilty verdict. “We ask you detain him pending sentencing.”

McKay agreed with Collins to keep Mobley in jail pending the August sentencing.

As part of those previous release conditions, Mobley was allowed to remain with his wife and even fathered a fourth child since he was charged with Caiden’s death. He was also allowed to be near family members who testified for the defense.

Several of Mobley’s family members testified that Mobley showed them Caiden on the night of Feb. 26, 2017, and the baby had none of the bruises shown in autopsy photos. Medical testimony indicated that Caiden slowly died after suffering several blows to the head and trauma to the abdomen that caused internal bleeding.

As a result of the family testimony, Oreskovich suggested in his closing arguments that perhaps Caiden’s mother caused the 12 to 20 blows that resulted in Caiden’s death.

“We don’t have to prove to you that Crystal Henry did it. She was in a fog. She was medicated,” Oreskovich said on Tuesday. “Maybe Crystal Henry snapped. I ask you to find Joshua Mobley not guilty.”

Through her attorney, Dennis Cronin, Crystal Henry said she wanted to hold back most of her remarks about the case until she gets a chance to speak at sentencing.

“She’d like to recognize and thank the efforts of the prosecution team for attaining justice for baby Caiden,” Cronin said.

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