Prosecutor seeks to admit toddler's incriminating statements

2013-01-17T15:35:00Z 2013-01-17T15:59:54Z Prosecutor seeks to admit toddler's incriminating statementsBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 17, 2013 3:35 pm  • 

The attorneys handling the case of a Tucson couple accused of nearly killing a 16-month-old girl last year are gearing up for their trial next month.

Oscar Aguirre is accused of abusing his girlfriend's daughter so badly her spleen was detached and free-floating, her pancreas and bowels were bruised and she had tears in her liver, abdominal wall and transverse colon.

The child's mother, Ashley Liberty, is accused of not seeking medical attention for the girl.

On Jan. 28, prosecutor Margaret McMahon will ask Judge Jane Eikleberry to allow a nurse and a forensic interviewer tell jurors what the toddler told them about her injuries.

Normally, the women's testimony wouldn't be allowed because it's considered hearsay. McMahon intends to argue the testimony falls into the "excited utterance" exception to that rule.

The little girl made several statements without being prompted and because she was so young, she likely didn't have the capacity to reflect upon what she was saying, McMahon says in court documents.

Here are some of the statements allegedly made by the girl:

* "Oscar gave me owies"

* "He be mean to me"

* Oscar beat my (butt)"

On Feb. 5, Aguirre's attorney, Rafael Gallego, will ask Judge Eikleberry to split the trial into two.

He doesn't want jurors to hear the statements Liberty made about his client to police saying they would be too prejudicial.

The trial is scheduled for Feb. 20.

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