SAN ANTONIO – Gina Babineaux sobbed as she recalled her last phone conversation with her 9-year-old daughter, Tatyana, as the child walked to school on the morning of Jan. 15, 2014.
She was the state's last witness in the trial of Isidro Solis, who is facing charges of failure to stop and render aid in the child's death.
"She just wanted to stay on the phone with me because she said I make her feel safe," Babineaux testified as she recalled how she and her daughter talked on the phone every morning as the child walked to nearby Larkspur Elementary School.
She said she had to go work early and Tatyana would walk to school later.
"I thought she had tripped and I couldn't get her to pick up the phone," Babineaux said. "And I heard cars driving by. I heard rattling ... I think it was her breath, I don't know. And then the phone went dead."
She said she would later learn that the child had been struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
The driver, according to prosecutors, was Isidro Solis. His truck, with blood identified as the child's on the hood, was found abandoned at a South Side home.
Two days after the hit-and-run, Solis was arrested at the border trying to re-enter the United States after he had fled to Mexico.
Solis' lawyer asked for, and was granted, additional time to prepare his defense after prosecutors rested their case.
District Judge Mary Roman recessed the trial until next Tuesday morning.
If he is convicted, Solis faces a punishment range of from two to 20 years in prison.