FAIRFIELD — Jurors in the murder trial for a Suisun City foster parent accused of killing a 3-month-old boy in his care spent Thursday listening to complex, technical details about what was discovered during the autopsy on the baby that resulted in criminal charges being pursued.
Reginald Tanubagijo, 57, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and felony child abuse causing death. He was arrested a few days after police and paramedics rushed to his home on the night of Nov. 29, 2010, after a panicked 911 call reporting the child had been choking and stopped breathing.
Dr. Michelle Jorden testified that she uncovered three things that led her to conclude that the death of the baby, Christian Bito, was not from an accidental fall from a table, but from some sort of blunt force trauma and shaking.
Jorden found a large section of the baby’s brain just under the skull had been damaged and was bleeding. She also found massive amounts of bleeding in the baby’s eyes and she found the child’s brain had been swollen.
During the lunch recess, prosecutors showed Jorden a video of an interview Tanubagijo did with police, in which he explained the child had been drinking from a bottle and then started choking while lying on a kitchen table before falling and hitting the ground. Tanubagijo, using a teddy bear to simulate the baby, demonstrated how he shook the baby, trying to revive him after picking him up from the granite floor.
Jorden said she believed Tanubagijo’s explanation did not fit with the medical evidence she discovered.
The trial, expected to take three weeks, is scheduled to resume Monday.
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