Saturday, April 24, 1999

Mother told officer
she hit girl

By Richard Borreca


Jennifer Edwards, charged with killing her child, Cedra, had told police she repeatedly hit, stomped and kicked her little girl.

Cedra Edwards died at 2:52 a.m. Dec. 17, 1997, from an infection caused by a ruptured intestine, which doctors testified yesterday was caused by sharp blows to the stomach.

Jennifer Edwards is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her daughter.

Before Circuit Judge John W.S. Lim yesterday, police Detective Kyle Luke said he interviewed Edwards after the death.

"She said she hit Cedra because she made her angry," Luke told the jury.

Just two days before the girl's death, her mother became angry with her on a bus ride.

"She said when they got home she punched her in the stomach, stomped on her and then kicked her," Luke said.

The teen-ager said she was upset because Cedra, who had just been returned from protective custody, refused to recognize that Edwards was her mother.

During the next two days, Edwards continued to hit her daughter.

The night before the baby died, her boyfriend suggested that the baby be taken to the doctor, but Edwards said, according to Luke, that she would get better the next day.

Instead the pair took the limp, nearly dead girl to Kaiser Hospital about 2:30 a.m.

The case has focused attention on the state's attempts to reunite children with families in protective