Attorney argues for doctor testimony at hearing for client accused in baby's death

2013-09-10T12:41:00Z 2013-09-10T14:43:10Z Attorney argues for doctor testimony at hearing for client accused in baby's deathPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The attorney for a woman accused in the death of a toddler pleaded to allow additional testimony on the psychological state of his client at an upcoming hearing.

Jacob Amaru asked that a doctor who treated his client, Keshawna Higgins, be allowed to talk about the woman at an upcoming hearing. Higgins was accused of first-degree murder and child abuse in 2012.

Keshawna was the aunt of one-year-old Za'Naya Flores and helped out as a caretaker for the child. The baby’s mother, Kiyana Higgins, and grandmother, Clara Huyghue, were accused of starving to death the child.

At the hearing on Tuesday, Judge Deborah Bernini said she would not allow testimony from the doctor at the hearing, but would instead schedule a hearing to discuss Amaru’s motion to include the testimony.

Amaru argued successfully in previous hearings to have Keshawna Higgis tried separately from the other defendants.

He also has argued at previous hearings that the child’s mother, Kiyana Higgins, and not his client who bore the responsibility for the death.

Keshawna Higgins is scheduled for trial in March.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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