©Copyright 2012, The Oklahoman
Jacob “Jake” Ryan Hedger died in March, one day after he was taken by ambulance from his baby sitter's Edmond home. He was almost 9 months old.
“Any kind of action is an improvement over the last 10 months of nothing,” the baby's father, Zane Hedger, said Thursday. “So, yeah, I think that's a good thing.”
Jake's parents, Zane and Leah Hedger, have been critical of the Edmond Police Department's handling of the investigation.
Witnesses in the unsolved case will be subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury Jan. 31, The Oklahoman learned.
“If we're requested to testify, we'd jump at the chance,” Zane Hedger said.
Jake died from blunt force head trauma, according to an autopsy report. The medical examiner's office determined the death was a homicide.
Jake stopped breathing the afternoon of March 8. He had been with his baby sitter for about seven hours when she called 911, records show.
The baby sitter, Traci Kramer, 41, is the wife of Kevin Lee Kramer, a drug lab supervisor at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. He helped train Edmond police officers in 2004 and 2007, the OSBI said.
Legislators and others have raised concerns about whether Edmond police officials have handled the investigation differently from normal because of the OSBI connection. Zane Hedger in November said he wished another agency would take over.
Police defended the investigation, saying its integrity is of utmost importance to the department.
Traci Kramer has denied hurting Jake. Her attorney, Gary James, in November said she “loved children.” The attorney could not be reached by phone or email Thursday night for further comment.
At issue in the investigation is when Jake suffered his fatal injury.
Two physicians at the hospital where Jake died concluded “it was an injury that occurred while he was in the care of the day care and not his parents,” according to a report by the Department of Human Services.
The pathologist who did the autopsy told a prosecutor the injury could have been days before death.
Edmond police hired an outside expert to try to determine the time of the injury. That expert's findings have not become public.
The grand jury is guided by assistants for Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
Grand jurors regularly meet two to three days a month at the attorney general's office across the street from the state Capitol.
Prosecutors from across the state often ask the attorney general's office for grand jury help with difficult cases, particularly when witnesses have refused to talk to police.
Grand jury sessions are closed to the public.
Oklahoma County prosecutors declined to comment Thursday.
Authorities also turned to the grand jury last year for help in the investigation of the 2010 beating death of Julie Mitchell.
She was killed in the master bedroom closet of her husband's $359,000 house in northwest Oklahoma City. Her killing has not been solved.