Jury deliberating on Nixzmary's mom

October 15, 2008 3:03:31 PM PDT
Jurors in the trial of a mother accused of standing by as her husband beat her 7-year-old daughter to death asked Wednesday to see the videotaped statement the mother made to police after the girl's death. The jury also asked to see photos of the girl's injuries and to hear a 911 call the mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, made after the beating.

Santiago is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in a case that made undernourished, battered Nixzmary Brown a symbol of child abuse. Her death quickened reforms to New York's troubled child welfare system.

During closing arguments Tuesday, defense attorneys tried to portray Santiago as a concerned mother who tried to stop the abuse. Prosecutors say she callously allowed and encouraged the deadly assault.

Nixzmary's stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, was convicted of manslaughter earlier this year for delivering the fatal blow on Jan. 11, 2006. He is serving 29 years in prison.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday. The panel also asked to see photos of Rodriguez and Santiago showing the front of their clothes after Nixzmary's fatal beating.

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