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September 20, 2017

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Child abuse death trial to continue into sixth week

Prosecutors to put emergency room physician on stand today in second trial for Victor Fakoya

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Victor O. Fakoya

Prosecutors were expected to continue calling witnesses today in the second child abuse murder case for Victor Fakoya, a Las Vegas man accused in the August 2008 death of 2-year-old Daniel Jaiyesimi.

A Clark County District Court jury today was hearing testimony from medical personnel who treated the boy in the emergency room and in the intensive care unit at University Medical Center.

Fakoya, a Nigerian immigrant, has been charged with felony homicide by child abuse in the death of the boy, who died Aug. 11, 2008, at UMC after three days in intensive care. Doctors testified the boy was brought to the hospital “in extreme medical distress.”

The boy and his parents, Musediq and Toyin Jaiyesimi, were living with Fakoya and his wife, Lola, along with the Fakoyas’ two small children, in the Fakoyas’ two-bedroom Las Vegas home at the time of Daniel’s death.

The Fakoyas were helping the Jaiyesimis get on their feet as they adjusted to life in the United States. The Jaiyesimis had moved from Nigeria to Las Vegas in December 2007 after the Fakoyas agreed to be their host family.

The boy was under the care of Fakoya on Aug. 8, 2009, and during that time suffered injuries consistent with child abuse, police investigators said.

During the first trial, which resulted in a deadlocked jury last March, Fakoya’s attorneys cited a number of other possible reasons for the boy’s death. They offered theories of a possible infection, an accident or possibly an undiagnosed health condition.

Prosecutors said the boy’s injuries, which included a skull fracture, bleeding in his brain and bruises, were inflicted by Fakoya after the boy's father left the home after lunch to return to work.

On Thursday, the jury heard from Cynthia Sauchak, child abuse neglect investigative specialist for Metro.

Sauchak said when she interviewed Fakoya while the boy was being treated at UMC, he told her some of the boy's injuries might have been caused by his own daughter, who was a few months older than the boy, by pushing him into the corner of a table.

She also said that Fakoya brought up that could have been the possible reason for any bleeding in the boy's brain.

Sauchak also said Fakoya began crying during the interview at his home when he learned from his wife that Daniel had just died in the hospital. After learning the boy died, Fakoya became more guarded in his answers to her questions, she said.

It was the third time Sauchak had been called to give testimony during the trial, which has gone on for five weeks before Clark County District Judge Valorie Vega.

The last witness for the state is expected to be the lead investigator in the child abuse case. Fakoya's defense attorneys are expected to call as many as 12 witnesses as the trial continues into next week.

The judge has told attorneys that she wanted the case to go to the jury by next Thursday.

Norman Reed, one of Fakoya's defense attorneys, has said he intended to put Fakoya on the witness stand, as well as bring in witnesses who would provide expert medical testimony to rebut the testimony of witnesses presented by the state.

The defense team will also bring in a myriad of character witnesses to vouch for Fakoya's credibility, Reed said.

Fakoya is being held on $500,000 bail in the Clark County Detention Center, where he has been since his arrest.

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