Trial continues for couple accused of beating three month old - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Trial continues for couple accused of beating three month old baby

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - A Columbus couple accused of beating a three month old baby returned to court Tuesday.

Tonia Parker and Michael Escobedo are charged with cruelty to children stemming from a June 2009 incident that left Parker's toddler disfigured with a skull fracture.

More gruesome details surrounding the beating of a three month old baby girl were presented in court.  Attorneys from both sides shared their opening statements -- the prosecution laying out the severe abuse the baby endured and the defense saying the mother knew nothing about it. 

Because of the graphic details of this child abuse case, Assistant District Attorney Michael Craig became emotional while presenting his opening statements to the jury.  He said, "She [Tonia Parker] admitted when the baby would cry they would place a pillow over her face to stop her from crying, she admitted that sometimes she would feed the baby peppermint Schnapps to stop the baby from crying, and if that wasn't bad enough, she did what any loving parent would do and that was grab a hammer and tap the baby on the head with it to get her to stop crying."

Parker's defense attorney, Will Kirby, said she knew nothing about the alleged abuse her three month old baby endured, because it was her boyfriend Michael Escobedo who inflicted it, "The truth is, she didn't know this happened. So when she woke up and saw the bump on the child's head, she thought it was a bug bite."

However, there is one thing the attorneys can agree on and that is this case will be hard to try and even harder to hear the details that will be revealed. Michael Craig told News Leader 9, "Anybody that has kids understands these kinds of cases. They really touch you in a way that brings out emotion and that's what happened today."

Kirby added, "It's a very emotional case. There is very graphic evidence. I think it would pull at anyone's emotions. I think our biggest challenge is to just hope that we can get a fair trial for my client and get the jury to objectively view the evidence as it is presented."

Both Parker and Escobedo remain in the Muscogee County Jail. Their trial continues Wednesday in Judge Bobby Peter's courtroom.

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