Girl's injuries catalogued at stepmother's prelim

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Margarita Garabito has been ordered to stand trial for the death of her step daughter last October, but in this case, considering the abuse that Charlenni Ferreira suffered, death may have been the most merciful thing that happened to her.

Garabito was impassive as she sat in court an interpreter at her side. She listened to an assistant medical examiner detail the horrific injuries and neglect that led to the death of her stepdaughter.

He said 10-year-old Charleeni Ferreira suffered multiple blunt force trauma injuries leading to her October death. The autopsy showed the child had a fractured skull, brain damage, a huge gash in her scalp that was hidden by a hair weave, a broken nose, a cauliflower ear, a broken shoulder, 6 broken ribs, infected fluid flooding her lungs, pneumonia, a broken hip and evidence of repeated rape. She was suffering from asexually transmitted disease as well and none of the injuries or disease was medically treated.

Garabito and her husband, the child's natural father, were arrested and charged with the murder. The father, Domingo Ferreira, hanged himself in jail so Garabito stands alone to face justice in the horrific case of child abuse.

In her statements to police Garabito admitted repeatedly beating Charleeni with a metal broomstick, various handles and sticks.

The prosecution wants a first degree murder conviction.

"The way I see it is both the parents, regardless of who the beater was, are responsible for what happened to that child. They were there and saw those injuries occurring everyday," said Assistant D.A. James Berardinelli.

Garabito was held over for trial on general murder charges. The judge concluded That Charleeni was tortured and raped with a lot of people failing her, family, doctors who examined her before her death, any agency that didn't stand up and holler for help for this child.

The defense strategy is clear dump as much of the blame as they can in the father's grave.

"This woman is accepting responsibility and what we're saying is this woman did not intend to kill the child, this woman is not guilty of first degree murder," said Attorney Barbera McDermott.

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philadelphia, pennsylvania, abuse, assault, beating, child abuse, child death, child sex assault, rape, police, crime, vernon odom
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