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Trial set to start for Greenfield father charged in daughter’s death

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) The trial is set to begin Monday morning for a Greenfield father charged in his one-year-old daughter’s death.

Matthew Wagoner and the baby’s mother are accused of abusing their daughter and eventually killing her last year.

Matthew Wagoner’s trial is set to start in Greenfield at 9 a.m. Monday. Wagoner faces murder and neglect resulting in death charges. He could face up to 65 years in prison, if he is convicted.

Jessica Wagoner faces murder, neglect and additional charges for violating an order to keep her children away from Matthew Wagoner.

The case rocked the small Greenfield community when it happened last summer, and encouraged more people to get involved in stopping child abuse before it starts.

One-year-old Zoey Wagoner died of blunt force traumatic injuries, that may have been caused by being stomped on. According to prosecutors, Matthew and Jessica Wagoner initially said the baby fell off the bed, though they’ve changed their stories several times. Court documents show the baby girl had a history of injuries her whole life.

Last summer, shortly after the girl died, volunteers officially launched the Prevent Child Abuse Council of Hancock County. The council unites law enforcement, hospitals, and volunteers to help educate parents, provide resources and stop child abuse. The council’s leader says the case had a real impact on Greenfield.

“It, I think, makes us more diligent and continuing our efforts, and our planning…we did have more people coming to the council, and it unfortunately, makes you aware of how we all have to work together so it doesn’t happen,” said Diane Burklowe with the Prevent Child Abuse Council.

This past fall, Hancock County hired a prosecutor to deal with domestic violence cases involving women and children. The prosecutor’s office also created a victim’s assistance position to help victims of traumatic crimes like child abuse.

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