ATTORNEY: 2-year-old at center of murder case against Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ATTORNEY: 2-year-old at center of murder case against Louisville man had brittle bone disease

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 2-year-old girl who prosecutors say was murdered by her own father had brittle bone disease, according to the suspect's defense attorney.

The disclosure came during a court appearance by 26-year-old Jerrel Holloway after he turned himself in Monday morning. Last Thursday, Louisville Metro Police asked for the public's help to find Holloway, who was wanted after being indicted for the murder of 2-year-old Tamia Taylor.

Taylor was injured in the Shawnee Apartments in Feb. 2016. Police say she died 10 days later.

Holloway was present for his arraignment Monday morning, along with his defense attorney, Rob Eggert.

Eggert told Jefferson Circuit Judge Brian C. Edwards that his client wasn't even aware that he had been indicted until he saw news reports indicating he was wanted by police. 

"He was not informed of the indictment," Eggert said. "He was not notified of it. He had no knowledge of it. And then, I guess, last week, he suddenly -- I saw on TV, or received information or word, police stopped by his grandmother’s -- that police were looking for him."

"They didn’t need to get an arrest warrant," Eggert said of police. "They could have just called up."

Eggert said that as soon as Holloway learned that he was wanted by police, he contacted a relative in the armed forces who is serving in the Middle East. That relative contacted attorneys, and arranged for Holloway to turn himself in.

Eggert told the judge that the 2-year-old victim had been born with brittle bone disease, and her death has been the subject of a 14-month medical investigation.

"Judge the medical evidence in this case is going to be voluminous and difficult because the child, as I said, was born with a brittle bone disease, and had been going back and forth to the hospital," Eggert said. "The mother…had taken him to the hospital."

Eggert argued for a lower bond for Holloway, and that home incarceration be considered, citing a criminal history that included a sole misdemeanor charge.

"So you have someone basically without a record, 26, he had no juvenile record, he's never been in custody, he's hired counsel, he's got family behind him, he's turned himself in, he's done everything an innocent person would do and is advised to do," Eggert said.

But Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Christie Foster argued that the child's injuries could not simply be blamed on brittle bone disease.

"I do disagree with the representation that this child just had brittle bone disease, and that's it," Foster said. "That's actually something that this child was tested for. That was part of the reason for the delay and … the medical examiner took into consideration in coming up with their final opinion -- that’s something that was considered -- and the finding is, frankly, that this child died from inflicted trauma -- fatal inflicted trauma."

In the end, Judge Edwards entered a plea of not guilty on Holloway's behalf, and set his bond at $35,000 full cash (or $70,000 with property). Judge Edwards said he could be placed on home incarceration if he paid his bond.

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