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Edmond woman said she trusted man accused of killing her son

Rico A. Berry, 28, of Edmond, is charged with first-degree murder and child neglect in the Oct. 13, 2009, death of Jolen Babakhani, 2.
by Tim Willert Modified: January 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013

A man accused of killing a boy left in his care for several hours traded texts and calls with the boy's mother but never indicated the child was seriously injured, the woman testified this week.

Sara Babakhani of Edmond, cried throughout her testimony Wednesday in the murder trial of ex-boyfriend Rico Antwoine Berry.

Babakhani recounted for jurors how she returned from a day of classes at Langston University to find her 2-year-old son unresponsive and his lips blue.

She confronted Berry when she saw bruising on the boy's neck and head.

“I asked him a few times (what happened),” she testified. “He said he didn't know.”

The woman told the jury she had no concerns about leaving her son with Berry, who had moved in a week before the child's death. The couple had been dating for 10 months, she said.

Babakhani said she normally took the boy to day care but kept him home because he was sick.

Berry, 28, of Edmond, is charged with first-degree murder and child neglect in the Oct. 14, 2009, death of Jolen Babakhani.

In their opening statement, prosecutors said the boy suffered blunt force trauma to the head which caused irreparable brain damage. The boy also had “massive bruising” around his throat and forehead.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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