After his domestic partner called and told him the couple’s daughter had toppled down a flight of stairs at their home in 2009, Norbert Velasquez said he dashed home from work.
Velasquez, 49, said that his partner, Matthew Aranda, 48, said the child, 3-year-old Melody Velasquez, seemed to be fine -- just bumps on her forehead and the back of her head.
Velasquez, who is on trial charged with injury to a child by omission, testified that the men kept the child under observation and became concerned when she developed a fever, became lethargic and refused to eat.
Velasquez said Aranda told him Melody was not looking well.
“I said, ‘What is going on?’ And he says, 'I don’t l know – she is not breathing right,'” Velasquez testified.
He said they moved the child onto a bed and began giving her CPR.
“When we were moving her around, I noticed some bruising in the back and I said, ‘Matt, what is all this?’” Velasquez said. “Matt said, ‘I don’t know – probably from the fall.'"
The child was rushed to a hospital, where she died from blunt force trauma.
Doctors said she had massive brain injuries and several broken ribs.
Aranda is currently awaiting trial on murder charges.
Both me are facing a maximum sentence of life in prison if they are convicted.
Testimony will continue on Thursday in Velasquez’ trial in Judge Angus McGinty’s 144th District Court.