A jury has found 37-year-old Mishawnna Jennings not guilty of child abuse in District Court.  The verdict was announced shortly after 5:30 p.m. Friday evening.

Following the reading of the not guilty verdict, the accused daycare provider was escorted to her vehicle by Laramie Police as a precaution.

Despite a lengthy closing argument by the prosecution, the case “simply wasn’t there,” according to one juror who wished to remain anonymous.  “Some things just weren’t done as well as they could’ve been,” said the juror, referring to the prosecution’s case.

The defendant was accused last November after an 8-month-old boy who had been in her care was taken to Ivinson Memorial Hospital.  Shortly thereafter, the child was flown to Denver Children’s Hospital due to the severity of his injuries.  A CT scan had revealed head trauma which hospital staff alleged to have “a definite shaking component.”

The initial charge of aggravated child abuse was dropped on Wednesday when District Court Judge Jeffrey Donnell told the prosecution that the child’s injuries did not meet the requirement laid out in the state statute.  Prosecutors continued with a reduced charge of Felony child abuse.  The jury found Jennings not guilty.

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