Latisha Lawson Murder Trial Begins

By Scott Sarvay
By Megan Trent

May 24, 2011 Updated May 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The murder trial begins for a Fort Wayne mother charged with killing her two year old son and hiding his body in a closet.

Attorneys questioned dozens of jurors before whittling the pool down to six men, six women, and two alternates in the case against 31-year-old Latisha Lawson.

Court documents indicate Lawson believed her son, Jeziah King, was possessed by demons when she forced oil and vinegar down his throat. Reports say Lawson admitted to giving him the mixture three times - the last time holding his mouth shut for ten minutes until he stopped breathing. Autopsy results show that the toddler died from asphyxiation due to compression of the neck.

Lawson allegedly hid the boy's body in a closet for almost a year before family members reported him missing.

The defendant sat in court Tuesday with little emotion on her face. Questions by the defense to potential jurors focused on mental illness, and could be a strong indication that Lawson will seek an insanity defense.

Prosecutors will likely attempt to prove that Lawson's actions were proof of her intent and went far beyond acceptable discipline.

The trial, which will include testimony from Lawson's 10 year old daughter, is expected to last until late Friday.

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