Retrial for Kelsie Thomas has begun for the murder of her five-year-old daughter

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) -Kelsie Thomas is once again on trial for the murder of her 5-year-old daughter, Cloe Chandler who died on July 19th, 2018.

In March, the jury acquitted her of child endangerment but couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on first degree murder.

This time, the judge will determine her fate.

Prosecutors at the first trial accused Thomas of strangling her daughter with a pair of pajama pants but tried to pass it off as an accidental self-hanging.

According to Wapello County Attorney Reuben Neff and other witnesses during the trial, Thomas confessed the crime to law enforcement back in 2018.

On Tuesday morning, Neff asked the medical examiner Dr. Michele Catellier to walk the court through chandler’s autopsy.

Initially, Thomas told police her daughter had accidentally hung herself with a pair of pajama pants while playing. But the medical examiner says the pattern of neck trauma was inconsistent with Thomas' story.

During cross-examination, the defense asked if there was any possibility of Thomas' story and Chandler’s injuries to which the doctor said severe neck injuries from hanging are only in rare cases.

At one point the medical examiner spoke on the topic of vomit found in the girl’s room saying, “The fact that there was vomit was another puzzling variable that was not in keeping with what I would expect of a person who was suspended, removed from that suspension, and was not alive. at the time they were examined.”

As of right now the court plans to return to court to hear more evidence from the defense on Tuesday, October 20th.

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