State presents phone evidence on Day 3 of Hogue's trial




  • In US
  • 2021-10-31 01:54:00Z
  • By The Norman Transcript, Okla.

Oct. 30-The state on the third day of Rebecca Hogue's trial called an investigator to testify his findings on Hogue's phone and other key elements in her case - findings the defense claims were presented incompletely.

Hogue is charged with first-degree murder through enabling child abuse after Trent, he then-boyfriend, killed her son, Jeremiah "Ryder" Johnson. Her son died in Trent's care on New Year's Day 2020 while she was at work. Trent died by suicide three days later.

The prosecution is trying to prove that Hogue had knowledge her son was being abused, while the defense is maintaining that Hogue had no idea abuse was happening.

After the Norman Police Department declined to submit charges to the Cleveland County District Attorney's office for Hogue, the DA's office became the lead investigator on the case. Jason Holasek, an investigator with the DA since 2019, testified to information the office received after downloading information off of both Hogue's phone and the phone of her then-boyfriend Christopher Trent.

Holasek showed Hogue visited numerous websites and downloaded documents while she was dating Trent, including one's titled "Early warning signs of potential abuse" and "Recognizing child abuse and neglect sign and symptoms."

Although these were shown to be downloaded onto Hogue's phone, the defense has argued throughout the trial that this does not prove Hogue believed anything bad to be happening to her son - rather, she was researching the potential signs.

Holasek also played the jury numerous recordings from phone calls Trent made to Hogue while he was in jail. Trent was arrested for biting a paramedic's finger who was trying to administer him aid.

In these recordings, Hogue can be heard saying Johnson, her son, was having behavioral issues and was acting out. Trent then saidt when he gets out he wants to help get Johnson under control by having "baby military boot camp."

"When you're at work and he's with me, we're going to work on him," Trent said in the call. "We're going to have so much fun."

Andrew Casey with Foshee and Yaffe, Hogue's defense attorney, said the state left out a portion of that very same call.

"On that same call, Trent said that Ryder was going to have an older brother, and they were going to love each other, mixing together as one family," Casey said.

Trent had two kids of his own.

Casey then questioned Holasek, asking him about his duty as a law enforcement officer and although he works for the DA's office - whose job is to produce convictions - if his job was to get to the truth, regardless of if it led to a conviction, even disproving guilt if necessary. Holasek said yes.

The trial will continue at 9 a.m. Monday in Judge Lori Walkley's courtroom, with Cleveland County District Judge Michael Tupper presiding.

Reese Gorman covers politics and COVID-19 for The Transcript; reach him at rgorman@normantranscript.com or @reeseg_3.

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