Defense calls witnesses in Aaron Rowe murder trial

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A long and at times tense audio recording was played for jurors Tuesday. (KFSN)

A long and at times tense audio recording was played for jurors Tuesday.

The interview was between an investigator with the Tulare County District Attorney's Office and Courtney Rowe (while she was incarcerated at a Tulare County jail.)

In the recording, Courtney tells the investigator her husband Aaron Rowe sometimes displayed some odd behavior with their newborn baby, Peyton.

For example, when Peyton would not eat, he would shake her. Investigator Mark Lopez showed jurors how Courtney described the shaking to him.

"He would basically move her body up and down, in this fashion," Lopez said. When I questioned her more about that, it wasn't something where the baby was falling, but something that was unnatural for her."

Aaron Rowe, 28, is accused of killing Peyton at their home in November of 2012. She was just 47 days old when she died.

An autopsy revealed she suffered blunt force trauma to the head, and had many broken bones-some had already started to heal.

Aaron told police he tripped and fell with Peyton a few days before she died.

His defense team says there is no evidence that he intentionally hurt her.

They say he was a loving father and husband, and on Tuesday, some of his friends said the same on the witness stand.

"Aaron was a great dad," said Elizabeth Ormonde, a family friend.

"(He was) very gentle, very nurturing, he absolutely adored her-it was very evident," said Rowe's friend Crystal Ward.

Aaron's longtime friend Samantha Vargas saw his family at a pork feed before Peyton died.

"He seemed like a proud father," Vargas said. "He was really happy and excited to show her and introduce her to me, my mom, and my dad."

Aaron's cousin also said Aaron looked like a happy and proud dad at the pork feed.

His aunt saw Peyton twice while she was alive-the last time at a family reunion.

She said Peyton's eyes were red and puffy, and that she looked frail.

Courtney Rowe pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and will be sentenced this fall. Aaron Rowe's trial will continue tomorrow.
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