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Mother of murdered toddler testifies

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -

Monday morning the trial began for one of the men charged in the death of 2-year-old John Swoveland Jr. Robert Griffin is accused of firing the bullet that killed the toddler in April 2014 as he played in his aunt's front yard.

Prosecutors say the there was a fight between two groups at Coquillard Park on April 8, 2014.

On the following day, Griffin was still angry with another teen, Larry Bobbit, and when Griffin saw Bobbit at the park – he pulled out a gun and shot at him.

The state says that bullet traveled more than a block away and struck Swoveland in the chest.

By 4 p.m., the jury heard testimony from six witnesses, including three members of law enforcement, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, a man who pulled up just as Swoveland was shot and Swoveland's mother – Ashley Kinder.

Dr. Joseph Prahlow, who conducted the autopsy, said it was clear the bullet traveled a long distance because of the large entrance wound. He said the bullet entered Swoveland's body at a slower speed and it took longer to puncture his skin.

Swoveland's mother, Ashley Kinder, testified about what happened on the day Swoveland was shot.

Prosecutors say Griffin told two others "It was my bullet that killed that baby," but the defense says that isn't the case.

They say another teenager previously confessed to the murder.

Eight people are charged in relation to the toddler's murder.

Griffin is charged with murder and attempted murder.

Tarez Buchanon, 19 at the time he was charged, is charged with murder and attempted murder and faces a gang enhancement.

Tyre Bradbury, 15 at the time he was charged, faces one count of aiding in a murder with a gang enhancement.

Cedric Washington Jr, 15 at the time he was charged, faces one count of assisting a criminal with a gang enhancement.

Daniel Williams, 17 at the time he was charged, has been charged with assisting a criminal, carrying a handgun with a gang enhancement.

Joshua Hodge, 18 at the time he was charged, faces one count of assisting a criminal.

Xavier Primm, 23 at the time he was charged, faces one count of assisting a criminal.

Malcolm Buchanon, 17 at the time he was charged, faces one count of assisting a criminal with a gang enhancement.

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