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

Millie, the older sister of Laila Daniel, testified at the murder trial Friday against the foster parents accused of killing Laila.

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Jennifer Rosenbaum would spank her foster daughters, sometimes with a belt, for things like not getting dressed fast enough or falling asleep in the car, 7-year-old Millie testified on Friday, the third day of the trial.

Millie is the older sister of Laila Daniel, who died as a 2-year-old in 2015. Jennifer Rosenbaum and her husband Joseph are on trial for murder in the toddler's death.

The couple has said Laila choked on a piece of chicken.

A medical examiner ruled she died from abuse and had sustained a number of injuries during her time with the Rosenbaums, including broken bones, bruising, inadequate nutrition, severe blood loss and a transected pancreas.

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On the stand Friday, Millie - now living with an adopted mother who also testified - described the conditions she and Laila lived under while with the Rosenbaums.

RELATED: Murder trial of foster parents accused of killing 2-year-old girl

 "When Jennifer got mad at you what did she get mad at you about?" a prosecuting attorney asked Millie in one sequence.

"Me not getting dressed fast enough," Millie answered.

"When you wouldn't get dressed fast enough and Jennifer was angry, what would happen?"

"I would get a spanking."

"And when you would get a spanking, where on your body would you get a spanking?"

"On my butt."

"And when you got a spanking on your butt, what did Jennifer use to give you a spanking?"

"Her hand."

"Would Jennifer use anything else to give you spankings?"

"A belt."

Later, Millie was asked: "How did the spankings feel to your body?”

“It hurt," she said.

She was also asked specifically if the belt touched her skin when she was spanked. She said it did.

She said the same thing was done to Laila.

Millie’s adoptive mother Amanda Harrill also testified and said Millie doesn’t like talking about her time living with the Rosenbaums.

Harrill said Millie rarely brings it up, and when she does, she talks about it randomly and then moves on to another topic.

The adoptive mother described the kinds of punishments she’s been told by Millie she received.

“She was forced to eat mashed potatoes until she vomited, and then was forced to eat the vomit,” Harrill said.

Another time, “she wasn’t doing something fast enough, so Jennifer twisted her ankle and sat on her.”

Millie also talked about the day her sister died. She did not recount clear details, but she said she did remember it.

"Now you went to the hospital one day?" she was asked.


"Do you remember the day that Laila died?"


Harrill said Millie is now in therapy.

"How do you feel about talking about the day that Laila died?" Millie was asked by the prosecuting attorney.

"Kinda sad."

"And how do you feel talking about living at the Rosenbaums' house?"

"Same thing."

Meanwhile, after a lunch break, two significant witnesses took the stand.

The case has been known as one which revealed the failures of Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) workers who were overseeing Laila's care. A report found they did not intervene during questionable circumstances for several months before Laila died. They were eventually fired.

Chineze Odiko, who was was an adoptions case manager for the Henry County DFCS, said her job was to approve homes for foster care. She stands by those previous reports.

Odiko claims that she never approved the Rosenbaums in 2015. She said Friday that she doesn't know how they ended up with custody and didn't ever take the impact course, a 12-week pre-service training for future foster parents.

Odiko also said at one point she received a call from Jennifer Rosenbaum asking why the process was taking so long. She said Jennifer told her that she works for the D.A. in a threatening tone.

Also on the stand Friday was Patricia Lambert, a woman whose family took in Millie and Laila Daniels from June 12 to July 24, 2015. 

She said the Rosenbaums would have extended visits with the children prior to taking them in their custody full time.

During the time with the children, Lambert eventually noticed bruising and scratches on the children following visits to the Rosenbaums.

She would document these and at one point demanded a visit with the case worker. The case worker said the visits with the Rosenbaums would stop. 

Instead, the children were removed from Lambert's home.

Following Laila's death, Lambert took Millie back into her home because DFCS wanted her to be somewhere she was familiar, following the death of her sister.

Lambert said when Millie came to her home, her back was covered with bruises. The little girl told Lambert that Mr. Rosenbaum "beat her on the back."

She also said that when she saw Laila during a visitation at the funeral home "that was a completely different baby in that box." She said she was skinny and looked "like a baby in the womb."

At one point, Millie was acting odd and stumbling like a drunk person. Lambert asked Millie what she was doing. 

"I'm being Ms. Jennifer. I'm drunk," Millie replied to Lambert.

Day four of the case will resume on Monday. Bookmark this page or download the free 11Alive news app to watch the trial live.


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