EDINBURG — A lawyer for a woman estimated to weigh nearly half a ton has asked a judge for a doctor's assistance in making decisions pertaining to her case.
Mayra Rosales, 27, stands accused of the beating death of her 2-year-old nephew, Eliseo Gonzalez Jr., earlier this year.
But her defense attorney, Sergio Valdez, argued Monday that he is unprepared to decide how and by whom she should be moved should her case go to trial.
He requested that state District Judge Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. appoint Rosales' doctor as an expert witness on the case, so she could advise the court on her patient's medical needs.
"Because of her medical condition, (Rosales) cannot travel to the courthouse," Valdez said. "It is not in (her) best interest - and may cause liability for the county - for her to be transferred here at this time."
Rosales' indictment on capital murder charges last month has already caused headaches for authorities that are only expected to multiply as her case moves through the court system.
The nearly 1,000-pound woman, who suffers from a rare thyroid condition, has remained under house arrest since she was charged in Eliseo's death because the Hidalgo County jail does not have the resources to house her. Confining her to a hospital bed would have cost $5,000 a day, according to the district attorney's office.
But Valdez insisted Monday that if her case goes to trial she will eventually have to be moved to attend court hearings.
"Some of the pretrial matters could be done through video conference," he said. "But you could never justify having a trial without her present."
Prosecutors allege Rosales caused fatal injuries to Eliseo's head while babysitting him at her La Joya home on March 18.
The toddler's mother - Jaime Rosales - has also been charged with felony injury to a child for leaving him with her sister, whom she allegedly knew was incapable of caring for him.
If convicted, Mayra Rosales could face up to life in prison or even the death penalty. However, Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra has said that his office will not pursue the latter punishment in this case.
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