KENT COUNTY—Joy Heaven is back in district court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing to determine if her case will go to trial.
The foster mother is charged with felony murder while committing child abuse, in the death of 5-year-old year Emily Meno in July.
The hearing was originally stopped on September 1st so the judge could review the transcript of a video recording of Heaven's interview with detectives where she talked about hitting the child.
The video was played in the courtroom and submitted as evidence.
The prosecutor used the video as closing arguments to get the case bound over to felony murder, trying to prove the cause of death was in the defendant's hands and knowing or intentionally caused the harm.
The recording showed Joy Heaven being questioned by detectives about Emily Meno's injuries which the medical examiner equated with falling from several stories or a car crash.
In the video, Joy Heaven told detectives she was holding Emily's sister and told Emily to get out of the way and then pushed her.
"I pushed her hard and she went far into the room," she said.
"She fell back and she, oh my God I can't believe this, I saw she lost consciousness and I tried to stand her up," said Heaven.
The court already heard from two witnesses.
The first was Dr. Stephen Cole,the forensic pathologist, who conducted the child's autopsy.
He told the court that Emily Meno died of subdural hematoma or bleeding of the brain.
"It is almost always from traumatic in origin," he told the court.
He was asked by the prosecutor if this was an accidental trauma and he said in his opinion it was not.
Court records show on July 15th, paramedics were called to the defendant's home in Gaines Township for a child who would not wake up. Heaven first told paramedics that she believed that Emily had suffered an epileptic seizure. She was placed on life support for two days. July 17th, she was removed from life support and died.
Detective Randy Kieft with the Kent Count Sheriff's Department who worked on the case told the court he first interviewed Ms. Heaven at the hospital before she had been placed under arrest.
"She explained to me that Emily may have gone into a seizure which she believed caused the injuries she had sustained," testified Detective Kieft.
Keifts testified he conducted a second recorded police interview with Heaven after the autopsy results came back.That's when the defendant admitted she shoved the little girl.
"We called her back into the sheriff's department to discuss the findings of the autopsy and that's when her story changed a bit," he said.