Jury convicts Edmond man of boy's murder
Rico A. Berry, 28, of Edmond, faces life in prison without parole for the Oct. 14, 2009, beating death of 2-year-old Jolen Babakhani; defense attorneys argued the death was accidental.
“He did nothing to seek help,” Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger said following the verdict.
The boy suffered blunt force trauma to the head, which caused irreparable brain damage. He also had “massive” bruising on his throat, forehead and back, prosecutors said.
“There's no explanation for that other than abuse or a high-speed automobile accident,” Gieger said.
Berry's attorney told jurors he was play fighting with the boy and didn't intend to harm him, just “toughen him up” at the mother's request.
“He wasn't doing anything that he hadn't done before,” Assistant Public Defender Jim Hughes said in his closing argument. “What he did was not unreasonable as he saw it under the circumstances.”
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