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September 17, 2014

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Boy’s father testifies in child abuse death trial

Father: Fakoya complained often that 2-year-old boy was too noisy

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Victor O. Fakoya

Fighting back tears at times, the father of a boy who prosecutors say died of child abuse testified Monday afternoon in the second trial for a Las Vegas man accused of causing the boy's death.

Musediq Jaiyesimi, a Nigerian immigrant, told the jury about how his family came to live in America with his longtime friend Victor Fakoya and the events that led to the Aug. 11, 2008, death of Jaiyesimi's 2-year-old son, Daniel.

Jaiyesimi is expected to continue testifying at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the child abuse murder trial for Fakoya, 42. Fakoya's first trial in March ended with a deadlocked jury.

Daniel was under the care of Fakoya on Aug. 8, 2008, and during that time suffered injuries consistent with child abuse, police investigators said. The boy died three days later at University Medical Center.

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.

On Monday, Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Jeanney questioned Jaiyesimi about the tension that developed between the Fakoyas and the Jaiyesimis as the four adults, two toddlers and a baby lived together in the Fakoyas' two-bedroom home.

Jaiyesimi first talked of how he and Fakoya, who were college roommates in Nigeria, shared a longtime dream of coming to America.

He talked about how Fakoya and his family settled here first, and then how Jaiyesimi's wife, Toyin, won a visa lottery that allowed his own family to immigrate.

Fakoya then invited the Jaiyesimis to move in with him, Fakoya's wife, Lola, and their daughter. The plan was for the two families to share Fakoyas' two-bedroom Las Vegas home for a year while the Jaiyesimi's found work and a home of their own, Jaiyesimi said.

All was well at first, he said. Daniel and Elizabeth, the Fakoyas' daughter who was eight months older than Daniel, played together in the home as the Jaiyesimis each went looking for work.

But when Fakoya's wife, Lola, had a baby in January 2008, the domestic situation became tense, Jaiyesimi said. The Fakoyas began complaining that Daniel was making too much noise in the household, Jaiyesimi said.

Daniel's noise issue led the Jaiyesimis to keep Daniel in their bedroom whenever the Fakoya adults were around, Jaiyesimi said.

He said the tension grew between the two families as they tried to provide childcare for each other's children while at the same time holding down full- and part-time jobs.

Jaiyesimi said Fakoya told him it would be important for his family to move out as soon as possible. Jaiyesimi said he wanted to get his family out of that situation.

"We were no longer wanted in that house," he said.

Jaiyesimi said he eventually got a full-time job as a security guard in July 2008. He said he worked shifts that kept him away from home most of the time, although he was able to keep in contact with his family on the telephone.

Before Jaiyesimi could recount what happened on the day his son died, Judge Valorie Vega recessed the trial for the day.

Prosecutors have said the boy’s injuries, which included a skull fracture, bleeding in his brain and bruises, were inflicted by Fakoya after Jaiyesimi left the home after lunch to return to work on Aug. 8, 2008.

Earlier in the day Chief Deputy District Attorney Vicki Monroe questioned Dr. Thomas Gowan, a pediatric emergency room physician who treated Daniel when he was first brought to Summerlin Hospital by ambulance before being transferred to UMC.

Gowan testified that the boy's condition and his head injuries were consistent with what he had seen in other child abuse cases.

He said he was "very certain," although not 100 percent certain, that his examination indicated the boy had had "non-accidental trauma."

The trial is expected to continue through the first week in December.

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