Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Prosecution Rests in Beating Death Trial

NEW YORK, NY February 12, 2008 —The prosecution has rested in the murder trial of Cesar Rodriguez. He's accused of murdering his stepdaughter - 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown.

The defense was going to call Rodriguez's wife as its first witness tomorrow, but after a contentious hearing, a judge ruled against her taking the stand.

WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports.

During the court hearing that was closed to jurors, Defense Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz asked Nixzaliz Santiago several questions - such as how far she got in school and if she ran away as a teenager.

With her attorney at her side she pleaded the 5th.

Judge Priscilla Hall then ruled that Santiago would not be allowed to take the stand in front of jurors because pleading the 5th could lead them to conclude she has something to hide.

Santiago also faces murder charges and is awaiting a trial of her own.

The defense has portrayed her as a manipulative and unstable woman who inflicted the fatal blow that killed Nixzmary. Santiago's attorneys dispute that and say she tried to stop the fatal beating.

For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.

Original Article -

WNYC - News - Prosecution Rests in Beating Death Trial

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