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Trial underway for mom charged in death of toddler son

Jennifer Harris faces neglect charges
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Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 18:37:48-05

ANDERSON — Jurors heard opening testimony Monday in the trial of an Anderson woman charged in the death of her toddler son.

28-year-old Jennifer Harris is charged with Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, and Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury for her role in the death of 18-month-old Harlan Haines.

The trial in Madison County Circuit Court could last into next week.

28-year-old Dylan Tate, who was Harris' boyfriend when Haines died in early 2018, was convicted last June and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Tate is not the child's father.

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Jurors found Tate guilty of Murder, Neglect of a Dependent, Child Molestation, and Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

Harlan Haines died after the car he was in crashed, but investigators determined the toddler did not die because of injuries suffered in the crash. Tate told police he was trying to get Harlan to the hospital because he had stopped breathing.

But in court documents, doctors said the child's death was not the result of the crash. The documents describe how doctors found paper towels stuffed down the toddler's windpipe. Those injuries were severe and included multiple bruises, cuts and other injuries. The coroner's report described serious injuries to Haines' neck, chest and private areas.

During his trial, prosecutors said Tate tortured and molested the child. Harris testified against Tate at his trial.