Opening Statements Begin In Trial For OKC Teen Accused Of Killing Baby Sister


Tuesday, October 30th 2012, 1:43 pm
By: News 9


A jury of eight men and four women will decide the fate of a 14-year-old Oklahoma City boy accused of killing his sister because she interrupted his video game.

Opening statements began at 1:30 p.m. in the first-degree murder trial of Crystian Rivera. He's being tried as a youthful offender.

2/10/2012 Related Story: OKC Boy Accused Of Killing Sister To Be Tried As Youthful Offender

Prosecutors say in August 2011, Rivera was babysitting his 9-month-old sister, Linda. They say he was playing a video game when the girl began crying. Prosecutors say Rivera became upset and shook his sister, causing her death.

During opening statements, prosecutor Sue Ann Carlson said Rivera was often left to take care of his baby sister and 4-year-old brother. His parents worked at Chili's, and often their work schedules would overlap.

Prosecutors said on that particular day, the family had gone to a school event in the early evening, but later the father called and said something was wrong with Linda and that he was taking her to Deaconess hospital.

The prosecutor said Linda showed no outward signs of trauma, but CAT scans revealed bleeding on her brain. She was transported to the emergency room at Children's Hospital, where she died.

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

Doctors said they were told the 9-month-old girl fell from a bed, but that story did not match up with the injuries the child had.

Prosecutors said at first Rivera denied hurting his little sister, but he later confessed and said he shook the girl. He admitted he became frustrated with her while he was playing the game Black Ops on his Wii.

Prosecutors said they interviewed friends who admitted Rivera has an anger problem and would often punch walls.

Defense attorney tried to refute the prosecution's allegations, saying Rivera was a loving brother who would never hurt his baby sister. Rivera's attorneys claimed little Linda often preferred to be with her big brother instead of her father because the child spent some much time with him.

The defense said Linda's injuries were caused by a fall from a bed, not by Rivera's shaking.