Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dad on trial for murder in death of 20-month-old daughter; accused of punching her in the stomach for not eating (Newark, New Jersey)

Another case where the mom had to work--two jobs no less--while the apparently deadbeat dad did "caretaking" that involved punching toddler in the gut for not eating. Moms and babies deserve more than this.

Dad is identified as TRAVIS HARTSFIELD JR.

Baby girl, allegedly killed by father, had no pulse, couldn't breathe on her own, doctor says

By Bill Wichert | NJ Advance Media for on October 08, 2014 at 3:50 PM, updated October 08, 2014 at 3:51 PM

NEWARK — When Asiyah Hartsfield was brought to University Hospital around 1 a.m. on March 15, 2011, the 20-month-old girl had no pulse, no heart activity and she was not breathing on her own, a doctor said in court today.

“She was not making any effort to breathe at all,” said Dr. Maria Alvarez-Ballway, who treated the child in the hospital’s pediatric emergency department. “She had no vital signs.”

About an hour after EMS workers brought the girl to the hospital, Asiyah Hartsfield was pronounced dead at about 2 a.m., Alvarez-Ballway said.

Alvarez-Ballway described the medical treatment provided to the child during testimony today at the trial of Travis Hartsfield Jr., who is facing murder and child endangerment charges in his daughter’s death.

Hartsfield, 28, of Newark, is accused of killing the girl by punching her in the stomach when she wouldn’t eat. A medical examiner later determined the child died from a severed liver.

Hartsfield has admitted to detectives that he punched the girl twice in the stomach, but his attorney has argued he did not intend to cause her serious injury and should not be convicted of murder. Asiyah Hartsfield, in a photo published with her obituary after her death on March 15, 2011. Asiyah's father, Travis Hartsfield Jr., is charged with her murder.

His first trial ended in a mistrial last year when a jury was unable to reach a verdict.

The girl’s mother, Darshelle Joseph, testified last week that she had turned over the girl to Hartsfield on the morning of March 14, 2011, because she had to go to one of her two jobs.

Around 12:30 a.m. the next morning, Joseph said Hartsfield called her and said that when he went to change her diaper, “Asiyah wasn’t breathing” and that she was “ice cold.” Joseph said she told Hartsfield to call 911.

On the witness stand today, Alvarez-Ballway said that when the girl arrived at the hospital, the medical personnel resumed CPR on the child and continued to give her fluids and medicines.

At the time, Asiyah Hartsfield’s body temperature was 85 degrees, which was “very significantly low” and considered “moderate hypothermia,” Alvarez-Ballway said. “She’s very cold,” the doctor said.

In order for the medicines to work, the medical staff tried to warm up the girl, Alvarez-Ballway said. “Considering she was cold, we wanted to try to warm her up,” she said.

“It could be that she was in the process of dying already,” said Alvarez-Ballway, referring to the girl’s body temperature.

After finding out her daughter was dead, Joseph last week described seeing the girl on a hospital bed, but said she “couldn’t look at her.”

“I just walked out, started crying,” Joseph testified.