The defense began presenting its case in the murder trial of a Pawtucket, Rhode Island man on Monday.
Jorge DePina is charged with murder in the death of his 10-year-old daughter, Aleida, in 2013.
According to WJAR, Judge Netti Vogel denied a defense motion for acquittal, a common procedure made by a defendant after the state has rested its case. Prosecutors say that Aleida was abused by her father, and Vogel said that the jury could reasonably conclude based on the evidence that DePina had intent to kill his daughter when he inflicted the fatal blow five years ago.
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Josia Daveiga, DePina's sister, said their mother in Cape Verde would use methods such as whipping and hitting her children as punishment. Daveiga made her remarks without the jury present, but the defense wants jurors to hear Daveiga's testimony, as it shows that DePina was disciplining his daughter the same way he had been disciplined as a child.
Both the state and Judge Vogel objected, citing no legal precedent for that kind of argument. Daveiga will still testify, but not about the forms of punishment she and her siblings received as children.