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Rosenbaums found guilty on numerous charges in foster child murder trial

Laila Daniel died in 2015, the result of what a GBI medical examiner described as “significant blunt impact trauma.”

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum were handed their verdict in court Thursday. They were accused of murdering a 2-year-old girl who died in their foster care.

Jennifer Rosenbaum was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault and numerous other charges, including cruelty to children and aggravated battery. 

She was sentenced to life plus 40 years.

Credit: WXIA

Joseph Rosenbaum was found guilty of second-degree murder.  He was also found guilty of cruelty to children, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery.

He was sentenced to 50 years with 30 to serve.

Credit: WXIA

The two were facing 49 counts.

As the verdict was being read, some people in the courtroom started crying. 

Watch the sentencing below:

RELATED: Here is a breakdown of the guilty verdict for Jennifer, Joseph Rosenbaum

Laila Daniel died in 2015, the result of what a GBI medical examiner described as “significant blunt impact trauma.” Her injuries when she died included a transected pancreas, broken bones in her arms and legs and severe blood loss.

The Rosenbaums contended Laila’s injuries were the result of Jennifer Rosenbaum’s frantic CPR and Heimlich Maneuver attempts on the girl as she choked on a piece of chicken.

A defense expert witness, former GBI medical examiner Dr. Kris Sperry, testified the injuries were “sustained during a very, very panicked, frenzied attempt to try to save Laila’s life.”

But the GBI medical examiner who performed Laila’s autopsy, Dr. Lora Darrisaw, testified that the “whole scenario is a description of a child going into shock as opposed to a child who has a foreign object such as food.”

First responders testified early during the trial that they did not recall an obstruction in Laila’s windpipe or remember any food being found around her. They made note of bruising found on her body, as numerous witnesses – from other foster system caretakers to medical personnel who saw Laila – also did throughout the trial.

RELATED: Rosenbaum trial: Judge sentences foster parents in death of 2-year-old child

Laila’s 7-year-old sister Millie took the stand, and testified that Jennifer Rosenbaum would spank the girls, sometimes with a belt.

“How did the spankings feel to your body?” Millie was asked.

“It hurt," she said.

The defense, at various points, offered explanations for the bruising and injuries to Laila and Millie. It called witnesses to the stand, including the Rosenbaums’ family members, and a therapist treating Millie who testified her memories may be embellished.

Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum seemed the ideal foster parents for Laila Daniel and her sister. Jennifer worked for the Henry County District Attorney’s Office and was running for a seat on the Henry County Commission. Laila’s mother knew Jennifer Rosenbaum from their time as foster children together. That’s how the mother chose the Rosenbaums for temporary custody of her children.

“You’re going to be held accountable for each and everything you did to those children,” prosecutor Daysha Young said, indicating the defendants. “You will be held accountable for each injury you inflicted on these children.”

The jury began deliberations Monday morning, but were forced to restart on Wednesday after a juror was replaced. The defense made several motions to declare a mistrial; all were denied by the judge.

The case also put into focus systemic failures by Georgia's Department of Family and Children Services. Law enforcement have said a number of prominent tragic cases from the past year could have been prevented.


DAY ONE: ‘Liars, abusers and murderers:’ Prosecutors say Rosenbaums lived a life of lies

DAY TWO: Facebook messages, phone recordings introduced as Laila Daniel’s mom testifies in foster parents murder trial

DAY THREE: 'It hurt': 7-year-old details spankings, belt use at trial of 2-year-old sister's alleged murder by foster parents

DAY FOUR:  Mistakes made by DFCS workers are focus of Rosenbaum foster child murder trial

DAY FIVE: 'Night stick fracture': Doctor testifies about broken bones suffered by Laila Daniel

DAY SIX: Foster mom cries in court while listening to 911 call from day of Laila Daniel’s death

DAY SEVEN: ‘Millie told me Laila had been asleep’: ER nurse who treated girls on day Laila Daniel died

DAY EIGHT: Foster mother cries during police interview shortly after Laila Daniel’s death

DAY NINE: 'Significant blunt impact trauma:' Medical examiner says Laila Daniel did not die from choking

DAY TEN: First defense witness spars with prosecutors in foster parents murder trial

DAY ELEVEN: Joseph Rosenbaum’s sister testifies about happy family in foster parent murder trial

DAY TWELVE: Defense expert says toddler killed by foster mom’s ‘panicked attempt to save Laila’s life’

DAY THIRTEEN: A ‘façade’ versus ‘accident’: Closings arguments in foster parent murder trial

DAY FOURTEEN: Awaiting the verdict in the foster parent murder trial

DAY FIFTEEN: As jury deliberates, judge reprimands AJC reporter accused of speaking to Rosenbaum juror on break

DAY SIXTEEN: Juror replaced, jury ordered to restart deliberations in foster parents murder trial


The foster parents said she choked - but the autopsy tells a different story. Now this evidence can't be used during the trial.

Foster parents still insist toddler choked on chicken bone as case heads to Ga. Supreme Court

Additional indictments handed down against couple in death of Laila Daniel

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