Visalia couple in court for death of 3-year-old son

FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) -- A Visalia couple was in court to hear evidence against them in a child abuse case. The boy in the case died, his mother's boyfriend is charged with his death and his mom is charged with failing to protect him.

Desi Horton sat in court listening to testimony from a child abuse expert, pediatrician, Dr. Frederic Bruhn as he described a head injury on her 3-year-old son Jimmy.

Dr. Bruhn explained, "It grew real quick, that's a bad sign if it had developed slowly more slowly, perhaps he would've survived."

The Tulare County District Attorney's office says in March 2013 Horton's then boyfriend Trevor Bishop beat Jimmy causing a brain injury that ultimately led to his death.

Jimmy lived for 11 months after the incident but died last February. Bishop is charged with murder and child abuse causing death. Horton is charged with failure to protect her child. Dr. Bruhn testified saying the brain injury left Jimmy in a vegetative state and he also testified to other injuries, bruises photographed on the child's body.

Dr. Bruhn added, "These almost look like a grasp. It's what I call a pattern bruise of somebody squeezing him from the side."

Testimony revealed that Bishop told emergency responders Jimmy had fallen in a bath tub. Dr. Bruhn says Jimmy's head injury doesn't match that story.

"This injury did not occur with that fall in the tub that is not sufficient the way it was described to produce this injury," explained Dr. Bruhn.

The preliminary hearing will continue on Thursday when defense attorneys will get their chance to cross examine Dr. Bruhn.

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