A mother of seven accused of murder sobbed in court Tuesday as officials testified about the day her son died.
Nine-month-old Kevin Machado died Sept. 5, 2013 after suffering blunt force trauma to his head. Family members claimed Kevin fell off the bed, but medical tests found his injuries inconsistent with that story.
The baby’s mother, 32-year-old Guadalupe O’Campos, was arrested more than a year later for first-degree murder.
San Diego Police Officer Riter Flores was called to Rady Children’s Hospital the night of Kevin’s death and interviewed O’Campos.
“She immediately appeared to start crying. She said right away, ‘I dropped the baby’,” Flores said at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing. “'Se me cayo el bebito’.”
The defense argued O’Campos’ words, “se me cayo el bebito,” can also be interpreted as “the baby fell while under my responsibility.”
Flores testified O'Campos said she was in bed with the baby and the baby's father, Alexis Machado, when the accident happened.
“As they were talking, the baby stood up -- or got on its fours -- lunged forward and fell off the bed,” Flores said. “She said he went face-first and landed on his face on the ceramic tile floor.”
Flores noted the mother's behavior at the hospital, saying she was "going through the motions, but no actual tears were coming out." The defense argued the officer didn't interview O'Campos until hours after the incident and that individuals express grief in different ways.
SDPD Sgt. Michelle Velovich, a homicide detective on the case, testified there were also inconsistencies in O'Campos' accounts of what happened.
“She was in the living room visiting with a friend from Tijuana, and she and Alexis weren’t even in the room when the baby fell, that they ran in there, picked up the baby and found him,” Velovich said O'Campos told her in January 2014.
Much of Tuesday's testimony focused on the baby's injuries, subdural bleeding outside the brain.
"We see children all the time in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital who fall off the bed, and of course their parents are worried if they hit their head," said Dr. Marilyn Kaufhold, the child abuse pediatrician who was on-call that night. "Sometimes they get a skull fracture. But they don’t get this kind of bleeding, that kind of symptomatology where they lose consciousness, have a severe, space-occupying bleed and expire.”
“It’s not consistent with an accident of any kind. I believe it’s from shaking. It’s non-accidental,” she said.
O’Campos was pregnant with her seventh child when she was charged. In an exclusive interview with NBC 7 last October, she said she got pregnant again to ease the pain of her son’s death.
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