Opening statements got underway Thursday in the first Shelby Duis murder case. 25-year-old Jesse Wendelsdorf of Spirit Lake is on trial, accused in the January beating death of the two-year-old. Wendelsdorf was the boyfriend of Duis’ mother’s Heidi Watkins. Reporter Steve Schwaller was in the courtroom for opening statements. Schwaller says the defense attorney reminded jurors there were no eyewitnesses to the crime.Schwaller says Dickinson County Medical Examiner Brett Olson was the first to testify. Dr.Olson says he ordered an autopsy based on the number and type of injuries to the child.Schwaller says former daycare workers that took care of Duis also took the witness stand. They testified that Shelby Duis’ behavior started to change at the same time they noticed bruises on the child.The final witnesses of the day were acquaintances of Wendelsdorf and Watkins. Schwaller says one of them was Dawn Edwards. Edwards says she noted injuries to the girl the day before she died, but said they were not as severe as those show in autopsy photos.The trial recessed at around four o’clock and is scheduled to resume first thing today. Watkins will go on trial next month.
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