Murder trial for Visalia father enters second week

Monday was the fifth day of Aaron Rowe's murder trial.

It started with testimony from a Stanford ophthalmologist. Dr. Peter Egbert examined Peyton Rowe's eyes after she died, and found blood in the optic nerve sheaths.

The doctor who performed Peyton's autopsy determined she died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

Prosecutors believe her father Aaron Rowe tortured and killed her.

They say he had a propensity for violence, including domestic abuse of ex-girlfriends.

Rowe's high school girlfriend remembers when he once slapped her, threw her on his bed and choked her until she almost passed out.

"It almost felt like he was going to break my throat," she said.

Rowe's defense team has previously told jurors that bringing in his ex-girlfriends shows just how weak the prosecution's case is.

They say Aaron was a loving husband and father, and stands wrongfully accused of murder.

A few days before she died, Aaron told police he fell to the floor with Peyton.

His defense team has argued that in addition to being diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, she had a bone fragility disease.

But doctors also found evidence of old bone fractures.

Prior to her death, prosecutors believe Peyton was being abused and that her mother, Courtney Rowe knew about it.

Courtney's grandmother says her behavior and appearance changed after meeting Aaron.

"I would look straight at Courtney and ask her a question and he'd answer," Courtney's grandmother said. "It annoyed me so that I made a point to (make) eye contact with her (but it) still happened."

Courtney Rowe is expected to testify at the trial.

She will be sentenced for felony child abuse this fall.
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