Week 2 of Salinas child torture murder trial

Week 2 of Salinas child torture murder trial

SALINAS, Calif. - The second week of testimony in the murder trial for Gonzalo Curiel is underway.

Curiel is the Salinas man accused of abusing three children, and killing two of them.

On Monday, we heard from police and emergency room staff who cared for the surviving victim. She was rescued from a car in Plumas County in the Sierra Nevada of California.

Most of the witnesses, including the Child Protective Services workers who initially responded to the call and emergency room staff who tended to the little girl, had ties to Plumas County. 

A Plumas County Sheriff's Office deputy took the stand and talked about responding to the apartment where defendant Gonzalo Curiel and co-conspirator Tami Huntsman were moving in.

He and two CPS agents went to the apartment. He asked about the 9-year-old victim, and was led to Huntsman's car. There, he found the little girl in the back seat on the floorboard, using clothes as blankets to keep warm.

He said he spoke to her and noted her injuries. Her shoulder was dislocated, and she had black eyes and other bruises on her body. In an audio recording played in court, she was afraid to reveal who had hurt her, but later named both Curiel and Huntsman.

During the initial questioning, Huntsman told the deputy that the bruises were from the victim throwing herself on the ground, seeking attention. Curiel told the deputy he had punched her twice. The deputy later arrested both Curiel and Huntsman.

The emergency room doctor who cared for the 9-year-old victim, who is being referred to as Jane Doe, read a list of her injuries which include swelling at the top of her head and injuries to her jaw and shoulder.

CPS workers testified that she told them she had to eat slowly because she had injuries to her mouth.

A former homicide sergeant who now works in tracking cellphone data took the stand and looked at movements on a cellphone between the middle of October until Curiel's arrest in December.

Outside of court, KION learned that Curiel was involved in a jailhouse fight last week. He was being held in a special unit with about 20 to 30 other inmates. Something happened last week between him and other inmates. Jail officials said he suffered some bumps and bruises and has since been moved to a single cell for his safety and the safety of the other inmates.

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