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Rose Trial 1

Jeremy Rose and his attorney, Parker Thirnbeck, leave the courtroom after the first day of his child endangerment trial Wednesday, April 11, at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse in Mason City.

CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY | According to multiple people who testified at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse, Jeremy Rose and Alyss Michel had been arguing in the week leading up to when their 5-month-old daughter was hospitalized for bruises and trouble breathing.

And on Friday morning, a text from Michel to Rose revealed tension was still brewing, minutes before their daughter was rushed by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center--North Iowa on June 22, 2017.

"I'm not going to lose my girls bc (because) of you screaming," the text read. "It does no good to talk to each other Bc (because) you still scream over the little crap. I have to walk away. I have too (sic) Jeremy."

Rose, 28, has been charged with child endangerment for the alleged abuse of his then 5-month-old daughter last year.

On Friday morning, Assistant Cerro Gordo County Attorneys Andrew Olson and Steven Tynan called law enforcement to detail their investigation in court.

One of them was Mason City police investigator Aaron Onder. The jury was shown a 20-minute video of Onder interviewing Rose about the events on June 22, 2017. That interview occurred about midnight to 1 a.m. June 23.

In the video, Onder asked about the bruises on the baby's lips and right cheek. 

"I assumed they were from her sister," Rose answered. One of the defense's arguments — public defenders Letitia Turner and Parker Thirnbeck are representing Rose — is that the baby's 2-year-old sister had jumped on her. That may have been a reason she had trouble breathing and needed to be sent to the hospital, they've argued.

When asked about the mark and scratch on his infant daughter's right arm, Rose said that happened when he was changing her clothes, and that a button might have caused the mark.

"Do you think a 2-year-old could leave bruises like that?" Onder asked at one point.

"I think so," Rose replied.

Much of the rest of the Mason City police investigator's testimony revolved around pictures in the house, but didn't directly talk about the alleged abuse. When Turner cross-examined Onder, he testified that Rose was cooperative, until then he appeared to be nervous.

The state's last witness was Chris Callaway, a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. During his testimony, Rose appeared to turn pale and become sick, which prompted a five- to 10-minute break.

Callaway said he interviewed Rose in his car in Mason City roughly a week after the baby was transported to Mercy, and then airlifted to Mayo Clinic on June 22.

About two-and-a-half hours into the discussion, Callaway started to ask whether the baby's 2-year-old sister jumped on her, given what Callaway and other investigators had heard from doctors.

"There was a pause, and then he (Rose) talked about others who could have been responsible," Callaway testified.

In Turner's cross-examination, Callaway told the jury he had been searching for Rose for a couple days, before Mason City Police Lt. Rich Jensen located him on his bike in southwestern Mason City.

When Turner asked if he been watching Roxanne Rose — Jeremy Rose's mother — Callaway said he had not. 

The state rested its case at just before noon Friday. The trial is scheduled to resume Monday.

Contact Steve at 641-421-0527 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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