A fall from a bed caused the death of a baby girl whose brother said he shook her because she interrupted his video game, the boy's defense attorney said at his murder trial Tuesday.
Crystian Rivera, 14, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 9-month-old sister, Linda Beletzuy, who died Aug. 19, 2011, from head injuries.
Defense attorney Michael Johnson in his opening statement said the girl suffered the injuries when she fell off her bed and landed on her head.
“There's no evidence that this baby was shaken,” Johnson said. “This, more than likely, was a tragic accident.”
Prosecutors allege the girl died after her brother shook and tossed her for interrupting his game. She was injured while left in Rivera's care for more than six hours Aug. 16, 2011, while her parents were at work.
Assistant District Attorney SuAnne Carlson in her opening statement Tuesday said the child's injuries were consistent with shaking, which resulted in a “whiplash motion” that damaged her brain.
“This injury was inconsistent with a fall off the bed,” Carlson said.
An emergency room doctor who initially treated the girl before she was taken to another hospital testified Tuesday the girl was “pretty much unresponsive” when she arrived in her father's arms.
Dr. Demille Madox said a fall could not have caused her injuries, adding that nurses who treated the girl suspected foul play.