Attorneys Make Closing Arguments in Marshall County Child Abuse Trial
“[The child] faced Hell, and we’ve got no explanation for it,” Steve Marshall told Marshall County jurors Wednesday afternoon.
“You’re going to tell me a parent that cares for a child is not going to know how their child gets injuries,” the district attorney said in his closing arguments.
Yuliana Cortez Torres and her husband Angel Torres Rodriguez are accused of aggravated child abuse of their two-year-old son.
The boy is the fourth of the couple’s five children.
Torres testified for over seven hours Tuesday and Wednesday, and prosecutors said she failed to explain the toddler’s injuries.
She told doctors in May 2011 that her son fell out of bed the night before a scheduled visit.
She said he landed on his left arm, which caused a hairline fracture.
But physicians testified examination found the break happened two weeks earlier, and there was a symmetrical break on the right arm as well.
Marshall County assistant district attorney Chris Abel told the jury child abuse can happen over time, and it can happen over night.
Prosecutors say in this case, it was both.
A physician testified the child had more than 100 bruises on his body the day DHR took the child away from his parents on May 27, 2011.
He also had bite marks on his shoulder and foot.
That’s one day after another doctor saw the child and did not see the injuries.
“The bruising didn’t pop up, it was inflicted, and went away when the child was taken out of the home,” Abel said during his closing statements.
Abel also pointed to evidence of the child’s weight.
Though born premature, the child weighed 18 pounds, 3 ounces, when he was nine months old, but lost 11 ounces by the time of his 18 month weight check up.
From nine months old until 28 months he gained just over a pound.
Abel reminded the jurors of witness testimony that the child gained another pound in less than a week at the hospital.
In his first two months in protective custody, he gained nearly six pounds, up to 25 pounds, 3 ounces.
Defense attorney Shane Holloway said there is evidence the parents provided care.
They took the child to doctors about 30 times in 30 months.
Eight of those visits were wellness checks, but the parents took the boy when there were issues including congestion, constipation, hernia, diarrhea, ear issues, and even being fussy.
Over the course of that time, the toddler was on about 10 different medications for various ailments, and attorneys said some side effects contributed to bruising or irritations which caused the child to scratch himself.
Another side effect of some of the medication was loss of appetite, which Holloway said combined with the child’s vomiting and diarrhea issues to cause weight loss.
Holloway said the child did not take medication while in protective custody, and said the toddler’s skin and blood got more normal since he was not dealing with side effects.
The boy also did not eat solid food while with the parents, and Holloway attributed the child’s sudden weight gain to eating “meat and potatoes” while in hospital and foster care.
Holloway said there is no evidence that parents were not concerned about the boy, but Marshall argued concerned parents would be able to explain all their child’s injuries.
The jury will begin their deliberations Thursday morning.