Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum (Credit: Henry County Sheriff’s Office)

Foster father granted bond in death of little Laila

A Henry County man charged with beating and killing a 2-year-old foster child in his care was granted bond Wednesday, angering the girl’s family who wanted him to remain in jail.

Joseph Rosenbaum, who is charged along with his wife Jennifer in the death of little Laila Marie Daniel, had earlier been charged with child cruelty in the child’s Nov. 17 death. A grand jury this month elevated the charges against him to include malice and felony murder and aggravated battery, and he was re-arrested last week.

During the bond hearing on the new charges, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero granted him a $100,000 bond with several restrictions. Like his wife, he must wear an ankle monitor. He cannot leave his home unless he is going to work, visiting his attorney or appearing in court, said chief assistant District Attorney Blair Mahaffey.

Laila’s family members, some who were in court Wednesday, railed against the decision to grant bond to the couple.

“The crime against Laila was heinous, and it defies logic that they were able to get out at all,” said Peggy Banks, the girl’s great-grandmother.

The recent grand jury indictment against the couple was a surprise due to the escalation in the case against Joseph Rosenbaum.

District Attorney James Wright said the charges changed after the completion of the autopsy on the toddler, which he said revealed a history of injuries going back more than a month before her death.

“We cannot attribute the injuries sustained to just one of them, ” Wright told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time.

Authorities had originally said Jennifer Rosenbaum killed Laila Marie Daniel by striking the girl in the abdomen with such force that the child’s pancreas was split. Laila went into shock because of blood loss resulting from the injury, according to the autopsy.

Corinne Mull, the Rosenbaums’ attorney, has said Laila’s death was likely a tragic accident. Mull said the girl died after Jennifer Rosenbaum performed the Heimlich maneuver and CPR when the child was choking on some chicken. Mull said the force of the compressions may have injured the child.

The new charges may throw that scenario into question.

Also on Wednesday, Mull said she is considering asking for a change of venue in the case, concerned that her clients may not receive a fair trial in Henry County.

The restrictions for Joseph Rosenbaum are more severe than those his wife received when she was granted bond last December. Jennifer Rosenbaum is facing charges of malice and felony murder, aggravated battery and child cruelty. At that time, Judge Arch McGarity said she could not leave the state. It was unclear Wednesday as to why tougher restrictions were placed on her husband.

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