LONG BEACH - A 27-year- old Long Beach woman is set to stand trial later this month in the slaying of her former boyfriend's 2-year-old son.
Trial is scheduled to begin the week of Jan. 14 for Jennifer Marie Garcia, who is accused of beating and shaking the toddler in 2006, then telling authorities the boy fell down the stairs.
A defense expert testified last year in her preliminary hearing that bruises and head and body trauma suffered by the victim, identified in court documents as Landon K., were consistent with an accidental fall down a concrete staircase outside the boy's apartment.
Prosecution experts testified bruises on both sides of the child's face were consistent with strike marks by a hand or similar flat object. An opthalmologist called by the prosecutor testified retinal bleeding in the child's eyes was likely caused by violent shaking.
Defense Attorney Jay Glaser made an impassioned argument noting that the lack of certainty in the prosecution's case was grounds for dismissal. The judge did not agree, ordering Garcia to stand trial last July but allowing her to remain free on $100,000 bail.
Garcia was arrested by Long Beach Police Department detectives in December 2010, following a four-year investigation. The defendant lived with the father of the 2-year-old and baby-sat the boy, police said.
Garcia allegedly told authorities the toddler was playing near a staircase when he fell at the apartment complex where the couple lived in the 4400 block of Lakewood Boulevard on Nov.
The child was pronounced brain dead and removed from life support machines the following day.