PORT ANGELES — The mid-January trial of a Forks woman accused of killing 2½-year-old Isaac Ward on Nov. 9 has been delayed while investigators continue gathering evidence — including postings and messages from the woman’s Facebook page.
Ramona Ward’s three-week trial on charges of homicide by abuse and second-degree murder-domestic violence of the boy, who was in her care, was set to begin Jan. 18.
Michelle Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said Wednesday a trial is “several months” away because of the length of the trial.
Devlin also had seven binders full of evidence to work with in the case.
“If we set a trial date, I would suggest it would be several months out because we’ll need at least three weeks,” she said.
“It all depends on her defense attorney talking to me and trying to negotiate something on whether we go to trial or not.”
John Hayden of Clallam Public Defender, representing Ward, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
Isaac died of blunt-force trauma to the head, according to an autopsy.
Ramona Ward, a Quileute tribal member, was in the Clallam County jail Wednesday on $300,000 bail.
Isaac’s grandmother, Dana Williams, also a tribal member, said in an interview Friday that a service held for Isaac about a month ago drew almost 200 people.
“We’re going through a lot of stress right now,” she said.
Isaac Ward, Michelle Ward and Ramona Ward, who is Michelle Ward’s mother, are Quileute tribal members, county Sheriff’s Department Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said in an earlier interview.
Quileute Indian Child Welfare had placed Isaac and his two brothers into the foster-care custody of Michelle Ward in May, Michelle Ward told Sheriff’s Detective Brian Knutson, according to his arrest report.
Michelle Ward said Isaac’s mother is her cousin, Robin Ward.
Quileute Indian Child Welfare Case Manager Jessica Smith did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
While Michelle Ward was at work, Ramona Ward was Isaac’s primary caregiver at the 1700 block Calawah Way home where Isaac lived, Michelle Ward said.
Living at the two-bathroom, three-bedroom, 1,328-square-foot home were 10 people — Michelle Ward, Ramona Ward, Michelle Ward’s husband, Guillermo Villana Pena, and seven children, according to court records.
The children included Isaac and his two brothers, and Michelle Ward’s four children, according to court records.
Devlin said there will be a court hearing on the admissibility of Ramona Ward’s confessional statements to Sheriff’s Department Detective Brian Knutson in a Nov. 10 interview contained in Knutson’s arrest report.
Ramona Ward said she admitted to abusing the boy about 15 times over a period of about 60 days before his death.
The day he died, Ramona Ward said, she pushed him away as he approached her wanting attention and he hit hit head on an end table and the metal portion of a day bed, according to the arrest report.
She said she put him on the bed while she took a shower and when she returned, he was lying on the floor.
She also said she intentionally dropped him on his head twice.
Isaac used grunts and gestures because of developmental issues, according to court records.
“Ramona said [the boy] never cried and she didn’t think he could feel pain,” according to Knutson’s arrest report.
“I asked Ramona what she thinks should happen now, she said, ‘I need to pay the price for what I did.’”
The autopsy showed scars, abrasions, and a broken leg, shoulder blade and clavicle.
The bone breaks were four to six weeks old and did not appear to have been treated, according to the autopsy.
Issac also had a distended stomach and sores from a bacterial infection, according to court records.
Ramona Ward told Knutson she has an “extreme addiction” to Oxycodone, according to his arrest report.
She said she was getting ready to catch the bus to the doctor’s office to fill a prescription for the opioid pain medication the afternoon Isaac died.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].