The trial of alleged child killer Matthew Kuzdzal got underway in downtown Buffalo Monday morning. Kuzdzal is charged with Murder in the Second Degree and Predatory Sexual Assault of a Child in the death of 5-year-old Eain Brooks, his girlfriend's son, nearly one year ago.
During opening arguments in State Supreme Court, the prosecution said Eain Brooks suffered a fractured skull, abrasions, lacerations and was sexually assaulted by Kuzdzal.
Prosecutors say the boy was beaten inside his mother's home. Kuzdzal initially claimed Brooks was injured in a fall down a flight of stops.
Assistant Erie County District Attorney Kristi Ahlstrom said all the medical tests, scans, surgeries and exams all point to one conclusion.
"This defendant not only fatally injured 5-year-old Eain Brooks, he ignored the danger and left him to die, reaching out for help only after setting the scene and concocting his story, calling hours after he fractured Eain's skull and then lying to the medical professionals who were so desperately trying to save Eain's life," Ahlstrom said.
Kuzdzal's attorney, Emily Trott, started out by telling the jury that "there are two sides to every story."
"Matthew Kuzdzal, without question, loved Eain Brooks," Trott said.
Trott said Kuzdzal had been acting as Eain's parent for about ten months before the child died on September 17, 2013.
Brooks's death, along with the death of 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud in 2012, ignited a firestorm around Erie County Child Protective Services. CPS had a case file open on Brooks at the time of his death. Family members said they made repeated calls to child welfare officials demanding the boy be removed from the home.
After he died, the county fired two child welfare employees and suspended two supervisors.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.