Man pleads not guilty in death of infant
Child dies after ventilator removed
Last updated 7/20/2023 at 1:32pm
REARDAN - A local man has pleaded not guilty in the death of a toddler that may or may not be his child.
During a Tuesday, July 11, hearing, Jordan Mills-Jay, 30, of Reardan and Spokane, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree reckless manslaughter and second-degree. He is being held on $150,000 bail in the Lincoln County Jail.
Visiting Whitman County Superior Court Judge Gary Libey presided over the hearing.
Mills-Jay was charged after medical officials allegedly found evidence of child abuse that caused the death of 5-month-old "Zander," court records show.
If found guilty, Mills-Jay could face life imprisonment and or a $50,000 fine with restitution and assessments by a grand jury.
A trial is set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the Lincoln County Court House.
In court, Brooke Hagara, Mills-Jay's attorney, said she expects the trial to last 4-5 days.
On July 7, Hagara requested a new judge preside over the case because she didn't believe Mills-Jay could get a fair trial with Lincoln County Superior Court Jeffrey S. Barkdull presiding.
Court records show Mills-Jay was arrested Monday, June 26, after the child died in a Spokane hospital.
Zander was airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane on Wednesday, June 5, after Lincoln County Dispatch received a report of child abuse at a residence on Euclid Road.
Officials identified finger bruises on the left leg and forearm on Zander as he was unresponsive, records show. A CT scan later showed extensive internal bleeding.
Medical records show Zander arrived at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with subdural hemorrhage, bruising and abusive head trauma injuries.
He was treated for seizures and acute respiratory failure before he died from his injuries at 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, records show.
Several examinations were conducted on Zander, and Dr. Kari Jones of Sacred Heart Medical Center found Zander's injuries could only be caused by a violent, strong force, records show.
"It doesn't seem plausible that a single action would do this," he said.
Jones also found the injuries indicated a drop of approximately 12-18 inches above the ground when Mills-Jay allegedly let go of him, records show.
Deputy Christopher Stein of Lincoln County Sheriff's Office attempted to contact Mills-Jay and Zander's mother, Kayla Anthony, regarding what happened, records show. But the couple instructed Stein to speak to their lawyers.
As of press time, it was unclear in Anthony would face charges in the homicide.
Records show Anthony and Mills-Jay have two known children together, ages 7 and 4.
Mills-Jay is the listed father on Zander's birth certificate. However, records show another man may have fathered the infant and his twin sister.