The defendant in a felony murder and child abuse case was among other witnesses to take the stand Wednesday as a jury trial continued in Bourbon County District Court.
Anthony M. Anderson, who faced charges of first-degree felony murder and child abuse for his alleged involvement in the April 2015 death of 6-month-old Aiden J. Osborn, was the first witness called to testify by defense attorney Robert Myers after the state rested late Wednesday morning.
Bourbon County District Judge Mark Ward presided over the case. Adam Zentner with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office represented the state in the prosecution.
Myers asked Anderson about the events of April 26, 2015, when several emergency response agencies responded to an accident call at a residence in the 300 block of South Broadway Street. Osborn had reportedly fallen off a sofa at a residence other than where the 911 call was made. Osborn was transported to Mercy Hospital Fort Scott and later flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where he died April 28, 2015.
Anderson testified that Keira Lamb, his girlfriend at the time and the infant’s mother, was taken by Anderson’s mother to work around noon April 26. Anderson was home with his father, James Anderson, and the infant. Anderson’s brother, Chris Anderson, was at the house for awhile, as well as their mother, Eva Anderson.
The defendant testified he had been working with his dad on a car that day. At one point, the baby was in a bouncy seat inside the house with James Anderson. The defendant said he periodically went inside the house while working on the car.
That afternoon, Chris Anderson and his parents left the house for a gathering at Rock Creek Lake, leaving the defendant alone with the infant. Anthony testified he fed the baby, “burped him on my knee,” and then, noticing the baby looked tired, laid him on the couch to sleep. Anderson said he “stayed briefly” in the living room to make sure the baby was asleep and went to clean the bathroom.
The defendant said he was in the bathroom “less than a minute” when he “heard a thud and a squawk sound,” and went into the living room to find the infant on the floor.
When questioned by Myers, the defendant said the infant was “out of sight” while the defendant was out of the room and he did not see how the baby got from the couch to the floor. The defendant said the infant was “trying to cry, like he had the wind knocked out” but there was no sound.
Anderson testified he picked the baby up and started “patting him on the back,” telling the infant to “just breathe.” Anderson said he thought the baby might be choking. The defendant became emotional at times while providing his testimony.
“His tongue started to protrude from his mouth and his wrists turned inward,” he said. “I couldn’t find my phone to call 911.”
Anderson said he went to a neighbor’s house across the street to “seek help.” His neighbor told him to take the infant to the hospital. Because his car was not running, the neighbor called 911. A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper was first on the scene.