Defense Rests In Murder Trial Of Teenager Charged In Sister's Death

Wednesday, November 7th 2012, 12:22 pm
By: News 9

Both the prosecution and defense have rested in the murder trial of a 14-year-old boy.

Crystian Rivera, 14, is charged in the death of his 9-month-old sister. Closing arguments are expected to begin Thursday morning.

10/30/2012 Related Story: Opening Statements Begin In Trial For OKC Teen Accused Of Killing Baby Sister

Rivera's 5-year-old brother, Carlos, took the stand Wednesday morning. Carlos, who was 4 years old at the time of his sister's death, recalled the incidents of that day. He testified in both English and Spanish with the help of an interpreter. He said his sister went to the hospital after she suffered a fall from the bed. He testified both his brother Crystian and his father were there and his father took her to the hospital.

He testified his brother Crystian did have to watch both him and Linda when their parents were at work. He says his little sister Linda fell on the bed and then fell from the bed.

He testified he played a Mario brothers video game with his brother, and said that day was the last day he saw his brother and sister.

Carlos testified that his brother was not mean to him or baby Linda, did not hit him or Linda, and did not throw him or his sister that day.

A jury of four women and eight men could start deliberating the case against Rivera as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, the jury finished hearing testimony from a doctor at OU Children's Hospital. Dr. John Stuemky from Children's Hospital concluded 9-month-old Linda had abusive head trauma.

Doctors say bruising to the body that finally appeared and the trauma to the head was consistent with child abuse, not a fall from the bed. He ruled out accidental trauma.

On cross examination, defense attorney Michael Johnson tried to discredit Dr. Stuemky's testimony by calling into question his recollection of the medical records. Johnson asserted that sternal rubs were done on baby Linda, which could have left bruises on the body, despite the fact that the doctor had earlier testified that they never do sternal rubs on infants.


8/23/2011 Related Story: Living Behind Bars, What's Next For OKC Teen Accused Of Killing Sister

9/28/2011 Related Story: Parents Of 13-Year-Old Accused Of Killing Sister Charged In Case

9/22/2011 Related Story: Hearing Postponed For 13-Year-Old Accused Of Murder