A deadlocked jury prompted a judge to declare a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a City Heights woman accused in the shaking death of her 9-month-old son.
Jurors told Superior Court Judge Amalia Meza they were deadlocked 10-2 for guilt on a charge of assault on a child causing death. On Monday, the jury acquitted 35-year-old Guadalupe O’Campos of murder.
Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney told jurors that O’Campos shook Kevin Machado so hard that his retina was detached from his eyeball. There were eight impact sites from trauma on the boy’s head, the prosecutor said.
Rooney said paramedics responded to a 911 call from O’Campo household about 3 p.m on Sept. 5, 2013.
One paramedic looked at the child and “knew it was bad,” the prosecutor said.
“He thought he may have been handed a dead baby,” Rooney told the jury.
Doctors tried to save the baby’s life by relieving pressure on the brain, but he died on the operating table, according to the prosecutor.
Rooney said O’Campos told police that the baby crawled fast or ran off the bed and fell head-first onto the floor.
The defendant’s 16-year-old daughter and husband said they heard O’Campos scream, “My baby’s dying! My baby’s dying! He fell off the bed,” Rooney told the jury.
The prosecutor said the husband and daughter had seen O’Campos shake the baby.
O’Campos later admitted that she shook her son, but only to revive him, Rooney told the jury.
The defendant’s husband told her that they needed to take their son to the doctor, but O’Campos said, “No, they’ll think we did something,” Rooney told the jury.
Doctors said the infant suffered injuries consistent with stomping, hitting, kicking or slamming, not from falling, the prosecutor said.
Deputy Public Defender Patrick McCoy urged the jury to find his client not guilty, saying the child fell off the bed.
He said O’Campos was home while the baby was taking a nap on her bed when she heard a “thud” and found him on the ground crying. She tried to revive him, but he became unresponsive, the defense attorney said.
“Ms. O’Campos experienced a mother’s worst nightmare,” McCoy said. “She experienced a child falling off the bed.”
–City News Service
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