Courtney Seleste Casanas

Courtney Seleste Casanas

A woman’s trial on a felony charge of criminal negligent homicide began in Belton on Monday morning in the 264th Judicial District Court of Judge Paul LePak.

Courtney Seleste Casanas was charged last year with criminal negligent homicide after an infant in her care died after being left sleeping unattended.

“Jury selection begins this morning,” said Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza, on Monday morning.

Casanas was released on Nov. 11, 2017, after posting a $100,000 bond, according to Bell County Chief Deputy Chuck Cox.

Jaxson Partridge, 1, died July 8, 2017, at a Temple hospital after being found unresponsive by his caretaker on May 12. He was found with a car seat safety strap wrapped around his neck, not breathing, according to a Killeen police investigation.

Killeen police said previously that the day care operation in the 5300 block of Sydney Harbour Court in Killeen was in-home and unlicensed. Casanas was arrested in November, 2017.

The infant was found about 1 p.m. on May 12. He had been asleep in his car seat when the caretaker stepped away. The caretaker said she returned after hearing another child crying and called police upon finding Partridge unresponsive and his skin blue, with a car seat strap around his neck, according to an arrest affidavit.

First responders performed CPR on Partridge when they arrived and were able to resuscitate him. He was then rushed to Metroplex Hospital by ambulance.

Assistant District Attorney Frederick Burns is trying the case for the state and Michael J. Magana of Temple is defending Casanas, according to court records.

Emily Hilley-Sierzchula is reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald. Reach her at emilys@kdhnews.com

Herald reporter

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