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April 24, 2014

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Jury selection to resume Monday in second trial for man accused in toddler’s death

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Victor O. Fakoya

Jury selection will continue Monday in the second trial for a Las Vegas man accused of child abuse in the August 2008 death of a toddler who was under his care.

Victor Fakoya, 42, whose first trial eight months ago was declared a mistrial because of a hung jury, has been charged with one count of felony homicide by child abuse.

Fakoya, a Nigerian immigrant, is accused in the death of Daniel Jaiyesimi, who died Aug. 11, 2008, at University Medical Center after three days in intensive care. Doctors testified the boy was brought to the hospital “in extreme medical distress.”

On Friday afternoon, Clark County District Judge Valorie Vega continued going through the process of trying to seat a 12-member jury from among a pool of 70 potential jurors.

Vega began the process on Wednesday. The process is lengthy because jurors are asked numerous questions designed to weed out those in the pool who might have some potential bias.

The prosecutors, Chief Deputy District Attorney Vicki Monroe and Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Jeanney, indicated they would call as many as 33 witnesses, while defense attorneys Norman Reed and Adrian Lobo said they could call as many as 16 witnesses.

Fakoya's first trial, which began Feb. 8, was declared a mistrial on March 10 by Vega because the jury was "hopelessly deadlocked."

The toddler and his parents, Musediq and Toyin Jaiyesimi, were living with Fakoya and his wife, Lola, along with the Fakoyas’ two small children, in the Fakoyas’ two-bedroom Las Vegas home at the time of Daniel’s death.

The Fakoyas were helping the Jaiyesimis get on their feet as they adjusted to life in the United States. The Jaiyesimis had moved from Nigeria to Las Vegas in December 2007 after the Fakoyas agreed to be their host family.

The boy was under the care of Fakoya on Aug. 8, 2009, and during that time suffered injuries consistent with child abuse, police investigators said.

During the first trial, Fakoya’s attorneys cited a number of other possible reasons for the boy’s death. They offered theories of a possible infection, an accident or possibly an undiagnosed health condition.

Prosecutors said the boy’s injuries, which included a skull fracture, bleeding in his brain and bruises, were inflicted by Fakoya after Musediq Jaiyesimi left the home after lunch to return to work.

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