Kay Midyette squeezed her son’s shoulder as she walked to the witness stand and gave him a long hug after her testimony.
In between, she struggled to recall facts and events as she spoke about her infant grandson and the state of his health at the child abuse trial of her own son.
The closely watched trial, which is being held in Denver due to pre-trial publicity concerns in Boulder, closed out its third week Friday.
Alex Midyette, 29, is being tried for child abuse resulting in the March 2006 death of his 11-week-old son, Jason. His wife, Molly, has already been imprisoned for not protecting the boy from harm.
Kay Midyette’s face became brightly flushed throughout the afternoon, as prosecutor Ken Kupfner probed for answers about her grandson and had to continually remind her of things she had said under oath in the past.
He asked her if she remembered when it was that her son and his wife first told her that Jason was periodically holding his breath. Kay Midyette said she didn’t.
Kupfner pulled out a 2007 interview transcript in which Kay Midyette is on record saying that she first heard about it in early February 2006.
“We’ll go with that, then,” she said. “I don’t remember. It was three years ago.”
Kupfner reminded the witness that she had previously testified that Alex and Molly Midyette had told her that Jason had been vomiting and had a cut on his upper gum that bled “quite a bit.”
She was also asked to describe the night of Feb. 19, 2006, when she baby-sat Jason while Alex and Molly Midyette went out on a date. She testified that Jason mostly slept and that feeding him was “difficult,” with milk pooling in his mouth and dribbling out the side.
She will take the stand again Monday morning, when the trial resumes.
Earlier in the day, the jury heard from Alex Midyette’s best friend, Joshua Logan.
Logan, who said he hung out with Midyette at his Louisville home three to four times a week during Jason’s life, was asked by the prosecution about phone conversations he had with his friend on Feb. 24, 2006 â the day Jason was brought to the hospital in critical condition.
He said Midyette, whom he described as an “attentive” parent, sounded concerned about his son, but not “freaked out.” Logan still thought he would be playing golf with his buddy that afternoon after the Midyettes got back from the doctor.
The couple said Jason had tensed up a few times and tended to favor his right arm, Logan testified.
Besides seeing bruises on Jason’s temple and eyelid, Logan testified that he never noticed anything wrong with the boy.
“I would not bite my tongue about little kids,” he said when asked if he would have brought any concerns about Jason up to the Midyettes.
Logan was preceded on the witness stand by Carlyla Dawson, a friend of the Midyettes who testified that she partied with Alex Midyette less than 10 days before Jason was hospitalized and that everyone at the party snorted cocaine.
Under cross-examination, however, Dawson said she didn’t see Midyette using cocaine himself.
A couple of days later at the Boulder bar Round Midnight, she testified, Midyette supplied her and two girlfriends with coke.
Other witnesses included a neurosurgeon who operated on Jason after he was brought to Children’s Hospital in Denver on Feb. 24, 2006, with severe brain injuries and multiple fractures.
Dr. Lars Widdel testified that some of the baby’s brain injuries could have been halted â even that he could have had the “potential for a normal life” â had he been brought in earlier.
The doctor testified that Alex and Molly Midyette told him Jason had been stiffening up and holding his breath during the previous week, but that after consulting a baby-care book, they had the impression that breath-holding wasn’t uncommon among infants.
Read Molly Midyette’s motion requesting a new trial (PDF)
Read the grand jury indictment (PDF)
Read the DA’s statement