Closing arguments are expected this morning in the Clayton Mibroda trial. He is accused of killing his 20-day-old daugher Natalie at a mobile home in West Bolivar on December 27th, 2011.
Yesterday, Mibroda took the stand in his own defense and blamed the baby’s mother, Kayla Lichtenfels, saying he had been outside and he heard Lichtinfels yelling at the newborn and when he looked inside, he saw her kneeling on the floor with her hands around Natalie’s head, shaking her. Mibroda also testified that the reason he gave investigators three different versions of what happened was because he was trying to protect Lichtenfels. He said this time, he was finally telling the “absolute truth.”
Mibroda’s mother, Vicki Fetterman, testified that Lichtenfels had called her the morning Natalie died and asked her to take care of both of the couple’s children – in Fetterman’s words quoting Lichtenfels – “before I hurt them”. And a friend of the couple, David Hicks Jr. of Seward, testified that after the baby’s death, Kayla Lichtenfels wanted to run to avoid prosecution, but Mibroda told her he would take care of everything.
The defense also offered testimony from an Erie County pathologist who said Natalie’s brain injuries were probably inflicted several hours before she started having seizures.
The jury of six men and six women must decide whether Mibroda is the guilty party, or if they believe his story that Lichtenfels, who is not charged in the case, is to blame.