Emotional new footage was shown to jurors on Thursday in the trial of Daniel Reddout.
Reddout, 24, of Cedar Falls, stands accused of murdering his 18-month-old son, Kaleb, at the Midway Motel on April 4, 2011. He is currently facing charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment.
The recording shown in court was a redacted version of an interview Reddout had with police after his child’s death, and throughout the 1.5 hour tape he became increasingly distressed, ending in tears.
The jury watched investigators on the recording press Reddout on the events that transpired the night his son died. Slowly, it came out – he told them that the child was wound up, and didn’t want to go to sleep, so he did what he’d done many times before: restrain the baby by holding him face down and placing his elbow on his lower back. He also said that he rubbed the child’s back.
Then, interviewers told him that the injuries the 18-month-old sustained to his heart, lungs and eyelids couldn’t happen without significant pressure.
Finally, Reddout said that he might have pressed too hard in calming his son.
"I mean honestly I didn't think that it could be true, you know,” Reddout said on the recording. “I kept rationalizing it in my head…” An interviewer interrupted him: "I understand you trying to keep positive, but at the end of the day, what happened?"
"It was me man,” Reddout replied, in tears. “Obviously, it was me."
Reddout also said that he held the child’s jaw partially closed in an effort to calm the boy’s breathing. He said this would force him to breathe through his nose, and fall asleep.
He said he learned this method from a friend. He said the friend was “...the only one that could put him to sleep and I said man how the **** do you do that?’ ‘Just like this man, but make sure you’ve got to be careful with it though.’ ‘Alright man I'll be careful.’"
Several observers in the courtroom cried as Reddout demonstrated on a doll how he’d held his son facedown in the corner of the hotel room and pressed on him.
At the end of the interview, Reddout stressed that it was an accident.
After the redacted version of the tape was entered into evidence and shown to the jury, the jury was told to leave the courtroom. Then, an un-edited version of the interview was entered into evidence. The judge stressed that this full version will never be shown to jurors, and is only for the records of the court.
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