Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Short, Trauma-Filled Life of a Child

"Meika was covered in bruises. She was dirty and her hair was matted. Chunks of it were missing. There was a dirty bandage on her left hand."
"Our theory is that Spencer Jordan and Marie Magoon committed many of the acts of violence against Meika between Thursday and Sunday, November 10 to 13, 2011."
"The medical team... determined quickly that Meika had serious head injuries with extensive bleeding and swelling, and they knew she would not survive."
Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper, Calgary
Lorraine Hjalte/Postmedia News
Lorraine Hjalte/Postmedia News   Father Spencer Jordan and stepmother Marie Magoon are facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Meika Jordan. An autopsy determined she died as a result of multiple blunt-force trauma.
"I know I've done nothing wrong. And I don't understand why I'm the biggest suspect here. I wasn't the only one there, and I've also read that blunt force trauma could happen years before death."
"How ... how would I have been involved in doing this? No, I didn't do any of this. I'm sorry, but I did not. I did not do this. And you're wrong. And this is just wrong. I'd never have hurt her. Trust me. I never have."
"I don't know who could've done this. Meika came home bruised all the time. She ... her shins, for example ... she always had bruised shins."
Marie Magoon, charged with first-degree murder

She was a bright six-year-old child, a beautiful child, inclined to be friendly, once a happy child, with long blond hair, who lived with her biological father and her step-mother. She did visit with her biological mother. Who, on the stand, described a week-end her daughter spent with her in November of 2011 when she walked into the bedroom where her children were jumping on a bed.

Family photo
Family photo   Meika Jordan

"Hey, what are you doing?" she challenged them cheerfully. Her daughter Meika, on hearing those words appeared intimidated, backing into a wall: "I'm sorry, mommy, I'm sorry. Don't give me big trouble ... I just don't want big trouble, like Daddy and Marie give me", the child pleaded with her mother. What mother wouldn't pursue the issue, ask her former husband, ask his new wife, what was behind her child's reaction?

What mother wouldn't enquire gently of her frightened child just what it was that so inspired fear in her. What were the experiences alluded to, living with her father and her step-mother? Perhaps that is precisely what Meika's mother Kyla Woodhouse, did. And perhaps, when she heard the paramedics speak of the condition in which they found her little girl, "clinically dead" from severe injuries, eyes partly open, that earlier incident threatened to haunt her for the rest of her natural life.

The prosecuting attorney in the trial taking place in Calgary before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Rosemary Nation, outlined what the medical examiners and the prosecution feel happened to the child, based on the evidence. That her father pushed his daughter to the floor, and her head was traumatized, punched her in the stomach, dragged her by her ankles up a flight of stairs, and caused her to hit her head on a stove.

As for Meika's step-mother, to her is attributed Meika's hand being forced over the flame of a lighter, and that she slammed the child's head into the kitchen floor, and forced her to run up and then down stairs, hands tied in front of her, and tripped the little girl while she was thus running, causing her to fall. Meika suffered a third-degree burn to her hand, head trauma, abdominal injuries and multiple bruises and cuts.

The six-year-old died as a result of blunt-force trauma to her head, caused by five significant impacts, according to the prosecutor. She was struck with a flat object or her head struck against a flat surface. But there were reasonable explanations for all of these injuries, beyond what the prosecution in its zeal to see a pair of victims convicted, contended to be their cause.

For as it happened, on the final weekend of her very short life, according to Meika's step-mother -- and shouldn't she know? -- Meika fell down the stairs at their home, she burned her hand while she was playing with the electric hair-straitening iron, and she was hit in the head with a basketball. Of course, when the detective questioning her insisted the injuries were inconsistent with a fall down stairs and asked her how that could be, Ms. Magoon had a response for that, too.

"I have no idea."

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