The blunt force trauma that caused 3-year-old Melody Velasquez’s brain injuries and body bruising was not consistent with falling down a stairway.
That is what an emergency room doctor told the jury Wednesday during the trial of Norbert Velasquez.
Velasquez, 49, is on trial on injury to a child by omission charges.
“We’ll see injuries like this in cases of motor vehicle accidents and also in a deployed environment in wartime,” Dr. Patrick Muehlberger testified.
Muehlberger, who recently served in Afghanistan, was on duty as an emergency room doctor at University Hospital when the child was rushed by EMS to the hospital in January 2009.
She was not breathing and had no pulse, he said.
“This is a completely different class of injury from the routine injuries of childhood,” he testified.
Muehlberger said the child suffered severe brain trauma and had multiple bruises on her back and a healing broken rib.
Velasquez and his domestic partner Matthew Aranda, 48, told authorities that little Melody had fallen down a flight of stairs the day before she was taken to the hospital.
The men had been caring for the child as a foster child since she was 4 months old. They formally adopted her in December 2008, just a month before her death.
Aranda is awaiting trial on murder charges.
If convicted, both men are facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Testimony in Velasquez’ trial resumes on Thursday In Judge Angus McGinty’s 144th District Court.