Opening statements are scheduled to begin this week in the murder trial of Gabriela and Rogelio Hernandez, the Oxnard teens accused of abusing and fatally beating their 2-year-old toddler, Joselyn.
The 18-year-old defendants face charges of murder and felony child abuse for allegedly beating and burning the little girl before her death on June 22, 1996. The father faces an additional charge of torture.
Joselyn died as a result of blunt force injuries to her abdomen. Prosecutors say the two parents, who were stripped of custody for a time, inflicted a series of injuries that eventually led to their child's death.
For the last week, attorneys on the case have interviewed prospective jurors and argued a variety of pretrial motions, including a request by Rogelio Hernandez's public defender to sever the joint trial.
Part of Gabriela Hernandez's planned defense is that she was a battered woman who suffered at the hands of her young husband, according to court documents. The request to separate the trial was denied.