Heated pre-trial testimony in boy's death
BATON ROUGE - A pre-trial hearing in the murder of an 8-year-old Baton Rouge boy grew heated at times between witnesses and attorneys Friday.
A daycare owner testified she once saw Michael Robertson punch his son Xzayvion Riley multiple times in the chest after he came to pick the boy up. Xzayvion died two years ago after coroners said he was severely beaten, and authorities charged Robertson and his mother with first-degree murder.
The hearing is being held to determine what evidence of prior abuse will be allowed during Robertson's murder trial. Prosecutor Will Morris said it was their intent to prove Riley's death did not stem from one beating, but a "long, escalating pattern of abuse."
Robertson's attorney, Elizabeth Coe, challenged the daycare owner's testimony, asking if she recorded the instance in her records. The witness got upset during her testimony, leading the judge to call a recess.
A social worker also testified that during a home visit she found no evidence of abuse, but said something didn't feel right at the home.
Prosecutors will resume presenting evidence and testimony on Aug. 1, with the defense to follow in November.
Xzayvion's mother will be tried separately from Robertson.