PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — During the first week of the trial of 34-year-old Lesli Jett from East Peoria, more than a dozen witnesses, including first responders, doctors, and Jeremy Thurman, took the stand.
Jett pleaded not guilty to killing her boyfriend’s 4-year-old son, Tate Thurman. Jett said Tate slipped and fell in the kitchen on February 18, 2020. The little boy was rushed to OSF Children’s Hospital in Peoria, where he died from his injuries two days later.
Prosecutors painted an image of a woman who was annoyed and often complained about watching Tate, who was prone to toilet training accidents.
According to first responders, paramedics were deployed Monday morning around 9:12 am after receiving a call about a child in cardiac arrest.
Dr. Anthony Munaco conducted a CT scan and two surgeries on Tate’s stomach. He said there were multiple injuries in the intestines, including an 8 to 10-inch tear in the mesentery, an area he said is very difficult to injure.
“Typically, you need a large force to disrupt the tissue, so similar such mechanisms of injury would be a very high-speed motor vehicle collision with an improperly worn seatbelt,” Munaco said.
Prosecutors presented graphic images of injuries covering the body of 4-year-old Tate.
Tate’s father was visibly upset and at times overwhelmed when viewing the graphic images. He broke down when he saw a picture of Tate and his older brother’s last birthday party together in December 2019. The boys were born 2 years and 2 days apart.
A family member testified Tate had no serious injuries when he and his brother stayed at her home the weekend before his death.
The trial continues at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at Tazewell county courthouse