Trial begins for Kansas mother charged in son’s deadly methadone overdose

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The trial of Kimberly Compass, the mother whose 2-year-old son Zayden Jaynesahkluah died of a methadone overdose in 2019, is underway. 

On May 31, 2019, officers responded to the Sunset Motel in the 2300 block of South Broadway, regarding Jaynesahkluah not breathing. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

On Tuesday, the environment inside the courtroom was emotional. After the opening statements, the prosecuting attorney played the 911 call from the morning Zayden died. With tearful eyes, Compass kept shaking her head. 

In the opening statements, the prosecuting attorney claimed Reggie Whiters, the man who was with Compass the night Zayden died, noticed he was acting strange and not walking right.  

The attorney claimed Compass did not do anything to help her son and that evidence showed methadone was present in the juice inside Zayden’s cup. 

“Despite all of the warnings, Ms. Compass acted recklessly with her methadone, causing Zayden’s life and health to be put in danger, and he died as a result of her reckless actions,” said Kelsey Floyd, the prosecuting attorney. 

The defense claimed that Compass is not guilty. The defense attorney said Whiters was alone with Zayden while Compass went to a store. The attorney claimed that time was unaccounted for. 

“Somehow, someway, Zayden got into the methadone, it was a fatal dose, but she is not guilty,” said Steve Mank, the defense attorney.

The testimonies kicked off Tuesday. The courtroom heard from a police officer, detectives, and an organization that has helped Compass in the past. 

The trial is expected to last several days. 

The prosecution also plans to have Zayden’s grandmother, doctors and Reggie Whiters testify.

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