Friday, December 10, 2010

Mom testifies against dad in newborn death trial (League City, Texas)

Dad JOSE ISAIAS HERRERA is currently on trial, charged with "injury to a child" for the "violent" (and ultimately fatal) injuries he "allegedly" inflicted on his 6-week-old son.

And as usual, Mom is being blamed too--with "injury to a child by omission." Though it's not clear to me what she failed to do in this case. You almost NEVER see boyfriends or fathers charged with something like this when the mother is assumed to be the abuse perpetrator.

I don't quite see why this father isn't being charged with murder or at least manslaughter. But insofar as moms are smeared because they "failed" to do something, dads often get a pass for committing the most heinous of violent crimes.

Mom testifies against dad in newborn death trial
by Chris Paschenko / The Daily News
Posted on December 10, 2010 at 8:03 AM

LEAGUE CITY, Texas — A woman who found her newborn son dead in his crib testified Thursday against the father, who is accused of inflicting "violent" injuries on the 6-week-old.

Jessica Trevino, 19, took the stand in the trial of Jose Isaias Herrera.

Herrera, 19, was charged with injury to a child, stemming from the Oct. 27, 2008, death of Jose Herrera Jr. in the couple’s League City town home.

Trevino also was charged with injury to a child by omission. Her trial date hasn’t been set.

During the third day of testimony in Judge Lonnie Cox’s 56th District Court in Galveston, Prosecutor Donna Goode asked Trevino to describe the last hours of the child’s life.

The couple put the baby in his crib with multiple blankets and an adult pillow between midnight and 1 a.m. The child’s whimpering for a bottle awoke the young couple about 5:30 a.m. Herrera said he would feed the child, and Trevino went back to sleep, she testified.

Trevino awoke at 10:15 a.m. to a text message that caused her cell phone to vibrate, and then she went to check on the baby.

"I saw my baby laying face down," Trevino said. "I started screaming and crying ... I noticed he was pale, his nose was flat down."

Trevino picked up the boy.

"He felt cold," Trevino said, noting she handed the baby to Herrera, who performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the couple’s bed.

Goode handed Trevino a newborn-size doll and asked her demonstrate the force Herrera used. With both hands she pressed firmly on the doll, causing its chest to flatten and head to raise. He performed the maneuver three or four times.

Prosecutors say the child died of blunt-force trauma and suffered a broken spine and ribs. Trevino believed her boy suffocated.

"They told me my son was murdered," Trevino said. "What kind of injuries he had, I didn’t see Jose do those injuries."

Earlier Thursday, prosecutors played for the jury two videotaped statements Herrera gave police on the day of and day after the boy’s death.

"Something very violent happened to your baby," League City police detective Cory Beyer told Herrera.

"Nobody was there but me and Jessica," Herrera said. "I can’t believe (it)."

Herrera showed no emotion during the interviews, but Beyer accused him of smirking. Herrera didn’t admit hurting his son.

Herrera did, however, admit smoking marijuana the night before the baby was found dead.

"I wasn’t like high or nothing," Herrera said.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys disagree about whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation caused the injuries.

"Good people do the majority of bad things," Beyer told Herrera. "From 5 to 10 o’clock, somebody shook their baby to death. Somebody put their thumb on the eye and pressed in."

Prosecutor Kayla Allen asked Beyer why he believed Herrera injured the child.

Beyer cited about 11 reasons, saying Jose was awake and attending to the baby at the time he died.

Beyer also cited information he gathered from others, including witnesses who haven’t yet testified. He also claimed Herrera had a temper, that he changed his story to police, his emotionless demeanor and an apparent disassociation with the child.

Trevino is expected to retake the stand today for cross examination. The state could rest its case by Tuesday.

This story was brought to you thanks to's partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.