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Teen on trial for murder admits shaking baby sister

Attorney for Crystian Rivera accuses detective of lying to elicit confession from boy charged with murder in death of 9-month-old Linda Beletzuy on Aug. 19, 2011

BY TIM WILLERT Published: November 2, 2012
/articleid/3724620/1/pictures/1873091">Photo - Crystian Rivera The teen convicted in the death of his baby sister is shown during a hearing in February.
Crystian Rivera The teen convicted in the death of his baby sister is shown during a hearing in February.

Prosecutors allege the girl died after her brother shook and tossed her for interrupting his video game. She was injured while left in Rivera’s care for more than six hours on Aug. 16, 2011, while her parents were at work.

The doctor who treated the girl testified Wednesday that her injuries — a fractured skull, swelling of the brain and bleeding around the brain — were the result of “abusive head trauma.”

Rivera’s attorneys contend the girl was injured when she fell off a bed and hit her head in the family’s northwest Oklahoma City apartment.

Rivera, the video showed, repeatedly denied harming the girl. He told the detective he spent most of the day playing a video game online while the girl sat by his side or played on the floor.

“I don’t want your sister to lose her life because we’re sitting here going around and round,” Davis tells the boy in the video shown in court.

Defense attorney Michael Johnson took exception to Davis’ interviewing techniques, saying he lied to get a confession by telling Rivera doctors needed to know how the girl was hurt her in order to keep her alive.

When Johnson asked Davis if police officers are allowed to lie during interviews, he answered in the affirmative.

“I did that (to get him) to feel emotion for baby Linda,” Davis said.

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