HASTINGS, Nebraska — A 48-year-old woman has been held in contempt for refusing to testify against her husband, who's accused of killing their 2-year-old grandson.
Peter Draper, 48, has been on trial this week on charges of felony child abuse resulting in death and another count of child abuse. His grandson, Joseph Rinehart, died April 30, 2012, at Franklin County Memorial Hospital in Franklin. An autopsy showed he died of head and internal injuries caused by blunt force trauma.
Draper's wife, Nancy Draper, cited Wednesday her constitutional right not to incriminate herself, even though she'd been granted immunity for her testimony, the Kearney Hub reported (http://bit.ly/16m5bzo ). She was then removed from the courtroom.
Nancy Draper and the boy's mother, Laura Rinehart, also are charged with felony child abuse resulting in death and have pleaded not guilty. Authorities say the two knew Peter Draper was abusing the boy but did nothing to stop it.
The boy, his three siblings and Laura Rinehart lived with the Drapers in a mobile home in Naponee. A court affidavit said Rinehart told an investigator that when Joseph became ill and began vomiting last year, Peter Draper tried to keep her from taking the boy to the hospital. She also said Draper told her that if she told police anything about what happened to the boy, he would kill her.
Draper's trial is being held at Adams County District Court in Hastings instead of the Franklin County Courthouse in Franklin. Officials have said the acoustics in the Franklin courtroom would have made it difficult for Draper to follow the proceedings because he has a hearing impairment.
The trial continued Friday with more defense testimony.
Information from: Kearney Hub, http://www.kearneyhub.com/