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Jury deliberation continues in Hokanson trial

Jurors continued deliberation today in the trial of a man accused of killing a child who died in Pierce County.

The Dakota County trial of Tylar Hokanson began Nov. 1. Testimony concluded Monday morning, and the case went to the jury that afternoon.

Hokanson is charged with murder in the second degree (unintentional) in connection with the June 19, 2009 death of his stepson, Nicholas Arthur Miller. He has denied causing the injuries which led to Nicholas' death.

According to the criminal complaint, Nicholas Miller, 1 and ½, was in pain from a broken back, which made it difficult to walk or even breathe. His brain was bleeding and he had other wounds on his body. For four days, he received no medical help from his family.

On June 23, Nicholas turned blue as his stepfather and step-grandmother tried to revive him on a picnic table in Maiden Rock, Wis. They called 911 for help. The ambulance arrived 23 minutes later. When the boy arrived at the hospital in Durand, he was pronounced dead.

According to the complaint, prosecutors say an autopsy and investigation found Nicholas had been abused many times in Greenvale Township, which is located near Northfield. Hokanson told investigators he shook Nicholas back and forth on June 19. He said he was mad at his sister-in-law at the time of the shaking.

The defense has maintained throughout the trial that the shaking did not cause the baby's death.

Though the boy died in Pierce County, the medical examiner determined the boy was in Dakota County when the injuries occurred.