Joseph O'Brien 8 p.m., Nov. 26
Jury favored acquittal for Fallbrook man accused in death of toddler
Mistrial declared today in 8-year-old case charged as fatal child abuse
The jury was deadlocked with the vote at 9 to 3 favoring acquittal, for a 29-year-old Fallbrook man charged with murder in the death of a toddler, 8 years ago.
Public defenders are predicting that all charges will be dropped at a follow up hearing later this week, for defendant Efrain Cornejo, who was 21 when he phoned paramedics to report that the 14-month-old child in his care had stopped breathing.
Jurors heard that five-minute 911 call on the first day of trial, March 5, 2013. The jury of ten women and two men went into deliberations on March 20, and were declared hopelessly deadlocked this morning, March 25, 2013.
Prosecutors showed evidence of severe internal injuries on the deceased girl, who was described as already “blue” and cold when paramedics arrived on May 22, 2005.
Prosecutors mentioned that the Sheriff’s detective who was originally assigned the homicide case in 2005 was “new,” but otherwise the reason for delay of prosecution was not made clear.
Defense attorney Jill Kovaly successfully argued that the child was tragically fragile in her health, with a documented history of seizures and fevers. Defense suggested that any injuries to the child could have been caused by overly vigorous resuscitation efforts of emergency personnel.
Efrain Cornejo is next expected in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on Wednesday, March 28, 2013, before the same judge who heard the trial, Honorable Harry Elias.
More like this:
- Man accused of abuse pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor — July 27, 2013
- Jury favored acquittal for man accused of abuse — July 19, 2013
- Escondido man admits misdemeanor child abuse in plea deal — March 28, 2013
- Fallbrook man accused in death of toddler in his care — March 5, 2013
- Jury: female Border Patrol agent guilty of battery — Feb. 11, 2013