7 Dec 2011

Jury in baby death trial retires for night

7:53 pm on 7 December 2011

A jury deliberating the case of a man accused of killing a six-month-old baby has retired for the night on Wednesday.

Cezar Taylor died from severe head injuries after he was shaken and dropped on 13 July last year.

James Hemana has admitted charges of manslaughter and failing to provide the necessaries of life, but denies a charge of murder.

During the trial at the Auckland High Court, the Crown argued that James Hemana had murderous intent and must have known that his actions were likely to cause death.

The defence says Mr Hemana accepts responsibility for the baby's death, but did not consciously try to kill him.

Justice Peters told jurors the case comes down to whether the death was murder or manslaughter, and the difference between the charges is what James Hemana was thinking when he caused the fatal injuries.

Justice Peters said the jury would have to draw a conclusion from the evidence and circumstances of the death.

She told jurors they must not let feelings of anger about the way the baby died influence their decision.

The jury of six men and six women began its deliberations at midday on Wednesday and will resume on Thursday morning.