Doctors testify in trial of South Valley
mother, accused of Child Abuse
VISALIA, CA – In the South Valley, a trial is underway for a mother charged with child abuse for failing to protect her son.
It’s been more than three years since Jimmy Horton died at the age of four, and more than four years since he was first brought to Kaweah Delta Urgent Care, unresponsive.
His mother, 33-year-old Desie Horton, is charged with felony child abuse with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in jimmy’s death in February of 2014. Her then boyfriend, Trevor Bishop, has already been convicted of second-degree murder and assault on Jimmy causing his death.
Thursday, a couple of familiar faces from Bishop’s trial took the witness stand again.
Dr. Gary Walter performed Jimmy’s autopsy, and examined his brain.
“It showed swelling, it showed evidence of an old subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it also showed a larger area of concave pressing in of the brain tissue itself where an old subdural hemorrhage had been,” Walter said.
Dr. Walter concluded the child’s cause of death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to blunt force trauma to the head.
In April, testimony revealed Trevor Bishop provided police with two explanations for Jimmy’s injuries-a slip in the bathtub, and falling after bishop tossed him in the air.
At the time, child abuse expert Dr. Frederic Bruhn said those stories would not account for Jimmy’s subdural hematoma.
“There was no evidence that Jimmy had a bleeding problem to account for either his bruises or his subdural hematoma,” Bruhn said.
Thursday, Bruhn reviewed numerous photos of Jimmy’s bruises both before and after he was hospitalized. Some he called pattern bruises-those that conform to the shape of an object, such as a hand. He described many as unusual, suspicious, or non-accidental.
“I think there’s no question that many of these injuries are inflicted,” Bruhn said.
Horton’s trial will resume Friday afternoon. She faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted of all the charges.