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September 15, 2019

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Video: Boyfriend ‘freaked out’ and made up story when baby girl injured

Trial continues today for Henderson man accused of killing girlfriend’s 16-month-old daughter

Cody Geddings in Court

Accused of killing his girlfriend's 16-month-old daughter, Cody Geddings appears in Henderson Justice Court in on Monday, April 12, 2010. Launch slideshow »

A man accused in the child abuse murder trial of his girlfriend’s baby daughter stuck to his story and told Henderson police for an hour and 27 minutes that the girl’s fatal head injuries — which crushed part of her skull and caused brain swelling — were caused by falling out of her playpen onto a carpeted floor.

Then Cody Geddings eventually changed his story, explaining a large acetylene tank he had perched on a wobbly chair out in his backyard fell on top of the 16-month-old Addison Weast.

Jurors watched those events unfold today in a video of Geddings being interviewed by Henderson detectives nearly 10 hours after the girl was injured on March 31, 2010, at Geddings' home in Henderson.

Geddings’ child abuse murder trial was continuing this afternoon before Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon. The 26-year-old has been charged with murder and child abuse with substantial bodily harm in the girl's death.

During the video played before the jurors, Geddings eventually told officers that he made up the first story and told it to his girlfriend, Jaime Higgons, in order to protect himself because he had been awaiting a child abuse sentencing involving his own son.

He said he didn’t call for 911 emergency help “because I freaked out.”

Instead, he told officers that he pulled Addison’s body out from under the heavy acetylene tank, brought her into the living room and laid her on the floor near the playpen, then eventually laid her on his bed. He said she had become rigid and was having seizures.

He told officers that he then called the girl’s mother, rather than call 911. He said he told his girlfriend that her daughter fell out of the crib, a story that she relayed to authorities, only changing it to say that she had been at home at the time the girl was injured.

Detectives on the video told Geddings that doctors treating the girl had explained to them that the injury was caused by a crushing blow to the head. But Geddings stayed with the playpen fall story until they appeared to convince him that it was impossible for the girl to receive such injuries by such a short fall onto a carpeted floor.

In testimony last week, two physicians testified that they thought the girl’s eye injuries that were discovered were caused by “shaken baby syndrome.” However, one physician, Dr. Gary Telgenhoff of the Clark County Coroner’s office, testified that a blow from the large falling tank could have resulted in such injuries to the girl.

Higgons was called to the stand briefly this morning by prosecutors to go explain about a damaged door jamb inside of Geddings home. The jury was shown a photo of the door jamb a year before, which showed it was undamaged, and a photo taken by a crime scene investigator, which showed the strike plate was missing, along with some of the wood on the door.

Higgons said she recalled the door being damaged, but she didn’t think it had been damaged that much.

A UNLV physics professor is expected to testify for the defense this afternoon.

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