Laila Marie Daniel, only 2 years old, died Nov. 17, 2015. Her foster mother and father, Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum, are charged in her death.
Photo: HANDOUT
Photo: HANDOUT

No verdict yet for foster parents blamed in child’s death

Former Henry County foster parents accused in a 2-year-old’s death will have to wait at least another date to learn their fate. 

Deliberations began Monday morning in the trial of Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum, charged in the November 2015 death of Laila Daniel. Jurors went back to work Monday afternoon, but by 5, hadn’t reached a decision. The trial began July 8

In July 2015, the Rosenbaums took in Laila and her older sister, Millie. Four months later, Laila was dead. On Nov. 17, 2015, Jennifer Rosenbaum called 911 to report that the toddler was choking on a chicken nugget, according to investigators. 

But Laila’s little body told a different story, according to medical staff and the GBI. She had extensive bruising and died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen, which split her pancreas in two and lacerated her liver. At the time of Laila’s death, 4-year-old Millie also had bruises, but not as severe, according to testimony during the trial. 

7/26/2019 -- McDonough, Georgia -- Jennifer (left) and Joseph Rosenbaum wait for closing arguments during their trial in front of Henry County Judge Brian Amero at the Henry County Superior courthouse, Friday, July 26, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

The Rosenbaums have claimed Laila’s death was an accident and the result of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver being performed incorrectly. 

Jennifer Rosenbaum, a former law student and candidate for Henry County commissioner, faces charges of malice and felony murder, child cruelty, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Joseph Rosenbaum, who previously worked for the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, is charged with second-degree murder, accused of leaving Laila in his wife’s care when he allegedly knew she was abusing the child. The couple faces a total of 49 counts and they are currently free on bond. 

Emotional closing arguments wrapped up Friday afternoon in the case. 

“Someone has to pay and that’s what this is about. Someone has to pay,” defense attorney Corinne Mull told the jury. “But in real life, sometimes there are accidents.”

Prosecutor Daysha Young delivered the final statements to the jury. Young called Laila and Millie “political props” for Jennifer Rosenbaum — props who were brutally beaten.

“There are so many milestones in Laila’s life that she will never get to see,” Young said. “They should be ashamed!” she said of the Rosenbaums.

The DeKalb County district attorney’s office is prosecuting the case because the Henry DA’s office recused itself. Jennifer Rosenbaum once worked as an intern for the Henry DA.

Jurors will resume deliberations Tuesday morning.