Judge refuses to suppress video, other evidence in Bravo day care abuse case

Friday , October 06, 2017 - 2:47 PM1 comment

MARK SHENEFELT, Standard-Examiner Staff

RIVERDALE — A judge has refused to exclude video surveillance and other evidence from the trial of a day care employee charged with child abuse in the alleged choking of a 5-year-old boy.

Attorneys for Alexander Brent Jones, 21, of Layton, had asked Riverdale Justice Court Judge Reuben Renstrom to suppress the video evidence, an apology note and recorded police interviews with Jones and other Bravo Arts Academy day care employees.

RELATED: Judge will decide whether to toss evidence in Riverdale day care abuse case

Court records show Renstrom decided at a Sept. 26 hearing to allow the disputed evidence from the Nov. 3, 2016, incident to be introduced at trail. Renstrom said he would allow attorneys to argue at trial, scheduled Oct. 13, another piece of disputed evidence — an interview with the boy conducted at the Children’s Justice Center.

Jones’ attorneys also have argued that a search warrant used by the Riverdale Police Department to acquire the video surveillance and seize Jones’ personnel record from the day care was flawed and served improperly.

It is not unusual for a child victim to be subpoenaed to testify, said Teral Tree, a deputy Weber County prosecutor who is representing Riverdale City in the case.

“You have to have evidence,” Tree said.

The young witnesses usually do end up testifying, he said.

Story continues below photo.

Jones, of Layton, was indicted in January on a class B misdemeanor count of child abuse consisting of injury and recklessness for an incident at Bravo, 5165 S. 1500 West in Riverdale.

Police reports detailed surveillance footage in which Jones allegedly slammed the boy on the floor and grabbed his throat. The boy was not seriously injured, but his mother said he needed counseling afterward.

“It makes me sick that this is still dragging on nearly a year later,” the boy’s mother, Lindsay, said Friday. “It was all pretty cut and dried. It breaks my heart, and I’m angry that he will have to sit up there and face those bullies again.”

The Standard-Examiner does not identify child crime victims, so the mother’s last name was not used in this story.

Jones was placed on administrative leave after the incident, the day care owner, Angy Ford, said late last year. Ford criticized the police investigation and news coverage of the case.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SEmarkshenefelt.

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