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Officials and mother of slain infant testify in murder trial

November 1, 2016 GMT

The wife of a man who is on trial for allegedly killing their 11-month-old son took the stand Monday in the 406th District Court.

Emergency response personnel and law enforcement also testified in the first day of Delfino Lopez Jr.’s trial.

Lopez was indicted on a murder charge after his son, Delfino Lopez III, died in August 2015 from a massive brain injury.

“When all is said and done, and when you’ve heard all of the evidence in this case, it will point to one thing and one thing only.

That (the) man sitting right there murdered his son,” Assistant District Attorney Linda Martinez-Garza said during opening statements.

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The child’s mother, Noemi Rodriguez, testified she was in the kitchen cooking when the incident occurred.

She said Lopez was alone with their son for about 30 minutes before he called out to her to assist him in the bedroom.

Upon arriving in the room, Rodriguez said she found her son “unconscious, like he was having a seizure.”

“The first thing that I thought of was to put some alcohol to see if he would respond,” Rodriguez said.

“Since he didn’t react (to the alcohol), I told Delfino to call the ambulance,” she said.

Rodriguez testified that she couldn’t remember seeing any bruises, aside from what appeared to be a scratch on the child’s head.

Rodriguez said she is no longer with her husband and hasn’t spoken to him since December.

She testified that she stopped talking to him “because CPS made me decide between my children and him.”

Rodriguez has two other children with Lopez, a 1-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.

Her sister-in-law currently has custody over the two children.

Paramedics who arrived on scene testified that the child was unconscious and had red markings and bruising on his neck and different areas of the face.

There were textbook signs that he had sustained a brain injury, said Ricardo De Leon, City of Laredo firefighter and paramedic.

“As soon as I walked in, I felt an abnormal sensation of heat within the residence,” said Esteban Luis Leal, City of Laredo firefighter and paramedic.

The incident occurred July 30, 2015, with temperatures well over 100 degrees that day.

The inside of the house was hotter than the temperature outside, Leal said.

“Once we got (the baby) into the ambulance … this is when I could see what looked like bruising to the head as well as red marks around the neck,” Leal said.

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He testified that Lopez told him that he “thought that the child was having a fever as well as a shortness of breath so he had lifted the child up to the air conditioning unit to help give him air.”

Fire Department Acting Capt. Jesus Murillo said Lopez repeated that explanation of the child’s physical state to him more than once.

“I didn’t believe him,” Murillo testified.

Lopez was later taken to LPD for questioning and booked on an injury to a child charge, said LPD Officer Gerardo Quiroz said.

The charge was upgraded to murder after the boy was pronounced dead Aug. 3 in San Antonio, according to court records.

Representing the state is assistant district attorneys Linda Martinez-Garza, Anali Vargas, Francisco Rodriguez and Javier Guzman.

Assistant public defenders Gerardo Cantu, Francisco Zamora and Jose S. Tellez II represent Lopez.

Testimony is expected to be heard throughout the week.