PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The non-jury trial started Wednesday morning for a man charged with homicide 14 years after he caused his daughter’s brain damage.
After the assault in 2005, Ariden Jackson pleaded guilty to violently shaking his 4-week-old daughter and he served time in prison.
Earlier this year, the girl died, and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, saying her cause of death was complications of a seizure disorder from the head trauma.
He was arrested in April when he turned himself in to Allegheny County Detectives.
Janiya Jackson, a Beaver Falls teen, passed away from her seizure condition in early February.
A family friend Leshaun Byrd took Janiya in as one of his own, along with his two other girls, and described her as a fun, happy and fearless young girl.
His girlfriend, Annie Howard, also cared for Janiya and was with her on the day she passed away.
Jackson was convicted in 2005 after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He admitted he repeatedly shook his 4-week-old daughter, causing brain damage and seizures.
Jackson’s attorney Mike DeRiso says they are checking several factors that could have played a role in her death.
“We have to look at medical records, school records, employment records, concussions, routine medicine,” DeRiso said. “What was she taking, what are the levels?”
DeRiso believes Jackson is a changed man and he’s already served enough time.
Janiya would have turned 14 at the end of April.