Today was the preliminary hearing in Angie's death. There were only a few witnesses called but it could have been a million. There were two things that I decided today while hearing the testimony - 1) Dania isn't going anywhere. I am confident that she will be punished for what she did and 2) We had some awesome detectives who worked Angie's case. I can't imagine what it must have been like to work her case but I could tell that they were thorough and worked their tails off to make sure that Angie will get the justice that she deserves. To them I say a huge "Thank you".
If you are interested you can watch the video here:
The woman accused of beating her 4-year-old foster daughter to death appeared in a Vista courtroom as a medical expert described the girl's cause of death.
Prosecutors allege that Dania Haros, 23, of Oceanside beat Angelina Espalin to death in November 2006. Haros has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and assault on a child causing death. Her preliminary hearing got under way Wednesday.
Deputy Medical Examiner Christopher Swalwell testified about the wounds he found on the child's body during her autopsy including more than 30 head wounds.
"There were 15 bruises in the facial area... a few on the chest and abdomen, several on the lower back area," he said. "What she really died from is not the bleeding into the scalp but the damage of the brain beneath her skull led to her death."
A photo was shown of Espalin taken the night before her death. Officials said she was at a birthday party and the picture shows bruises on her face and eye.
Detectives said Haros told them she got frustrated with Angelina because she wouldn't go to sleep and forcefully put her to bed. They said she also told them the 4-year-old fell and hit her head. An investigation found several instances of prior abuse, including teachers who thought they saw bruises.
"She said she tried to move Angie's bangs out of the way to see what it was and basically said that the hair had been plastered or stuck to her head with what she thought was hairspray," said Gregory Stahley, Oceanside police detective.
Haros was a foster mother to Angelina and her younger sister Elisa. Haros had been the girl's foster mother for six months.
S'te Elmore, a previous foster parent of Angelina's was in court for the hearing. Elmore, of Spring Valley, helped raise Espalin in 2005. She said she wanted to adopt the girl and was horrified when she learned of her death.
"I don't understand why nobody else said anything," she told NBC 7/39.
Something exciting from today. While we were out in the hallway for a break we saw Bill Murray who was at court for a property dispute. He was in the courtroom next to ours.