A Department of Human Services official testified today the state was threatening to take Shelby Duis away from her mother shortly before the toddler’s death. The D-H-S worker was called as a defense witness for Jesse Wendelsdorf, the Spirit Lake man accused of causing the two-year-old girl’s death in January. Chuck Illg, a D-H-S child abuse investigator from Spencer, testified he warned Shelby’s mother, Heidi Watkins, that the state would go to court to take Shelby away from her if Shelby wasn’t seen by a doctor. Watkins took her daughter to the hospital on January 3rd. Shelby was killed January 4th. Wendelsdorf’s lawyers contend their client did not kill Shelby, and Heidi Watkin’s — Shelby’s mother — had been abusing the child before the two started dating. The defense rested its case today and closing arguments are scheduled to get underway Wednesday.
You are here: / / Defense rests in Shelby Duis abuse trial