A Madison man accused of causing the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter will stand trial on a charge of first-degree reckless homicide, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Joshua S. Gehde, 25, was silent as a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke.
At a preliminary hearing, Madison police Det. Maya Krajcinovic testified that a criminal complaint accurately conveyed the conclusions by the girl’s doctors that she suffered severe child abuse injuries.
The criminal complaint said Dr. Barbara Knox, a UW child abuse expert, identified bruises on the girl’s head, including around her right eye and jaw, and bruises to her arms, shoulders, back and buttocks. Medical imaging of the girl’s head found brain injuries, including areas of bleeding on her brain, and evidence of bleeding within her spine, the complaint said. She also had areas of bleeding in blood vessels in her eyes.
Gehde, who remains in jail on $300,000 bail, told police he didn’t know how the girl sustained her injuries, the complaint said.
Krajcinovic testified that Gehde told her that he was the only person with the girl from the time she woke up at his girlfriend’s apartment at 1718 Onsgard Road on Madison’s Far East Side until he called 911 seeking help for the girl around 12:47 p.m. on April 12. The girl was taken to American Family Children’s Hospital shortly after police and medical personnel arrived and died at the hospital on April 14, according to the criminal complaint.
The detective also testified that Madison police obtained a video from a PDQ store on Stoughton Road that showed Gehde holding the child in the store about two hours before he made the 911 call. She said Gehde could be heard telling a clerk that “she was crabby and whiny from the time she woke up in the morning.”
On cross examination by Gehde’s attorney, Anthony Rios, Krajcinovic said Gehde performed CPR on the girl after he called 911. “There was some indication that the dispatcher had to tell him over and over what to do,” Krajcinovic said. “It was because of the situation, not because he didn’t want to.”
Rios later told the court that there was not enough evidence “to say what happened, when it happened and if a crime occurred.”