Jurors deliberating case of probation officer who left his toddl - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Jurors deliberating case of probation officer who left his toddler in car

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - The fate of probation officer Anthony Morcilla, charged with the death of his two-year-old daughter, Amanda, now rests with jurors who are in deliberations.

Chief prosecutor Basil O'Mallan stated, "Did Anthony morcilla intend for Amanda to die? Of course not. But did he leave her in his truck on that very hot day of April 3, 2013 that resulted in her death? Yes." And as O'Mallan addressed the jury this morning, he reminded them that no one is above the law - even good guys like Morcilla, a superior court probation officer for over twenty years.

"He might do an excellent job at work, at taking care of the 150 juveniles, but he failed Amanda," O'Mallan said.

Morcilla is charged with negligent murder, leaving a child in a motor vehicle, and child abuse for the death of Amanda, his youngest child. Last April, Morcilla alleges he forgot to take her to daycare that morning and left her in his Toyota Tundra parked in the employee parking of the Superior Court of Guam. After seven hours in the truck, he discovered her dead. According to medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola who testified earlier in the trial, the toddler's death was a result of suffocation and burns to almost 50% of her body.

Today, O'Mallan suggests there is more to the story than what Morcilla told the cops during interrogations. "Why did he leave the windows down? I argue to you ladies and gentleman of the jury, is that he intentionally left Amanda in the truck. His plan was to run in, she's sleeping, 'I'm going to check into work, make sure someone covers my early morning calendar and then I'm going to drop her at the daycare.' He didn't intend to leave her there for seven hours but he got distracted once he got into the office," he said.

But defense attorney Curtis Van De Veld argues the government failed to present any evidence to prove such a theory, saying, "You have no proof, as Mr. O'Mallan said that is direct on those issues that Mr. Morcilla rolled those windows down.

"No one said he came in and said, 'Hey, I'm running late, I can't make my court hearings, can someone cover me? I need to go drop my daughter.' They just simply want you to adopt those facts out of thin air with no proof."

Rather, Van De Veld argues that what happened on the morning of April 3rd was as simple as the defendant forgetting - what Van De Veld says may be used as a defense according to law. "In his interrogations he said, how could I forget my baby? I love her," he said.

Before jurors were dismissed from court to deliberate, the prosecution made one last request, with O'Mallan noting, "Yes, you must base your decision based on the evidence - but at the same time, you're allowed to use your common sense. Your life experiences."

If convicted on all three charges, Morcilla faces a maximum sentence of nine years behind bars. 
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