Defense, prosecution make final appeals to jury in DePina trial

By Alana Cerrone

acerrone@abc6.com

@Alana_Cerrone

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The jury is deliberating the evidence in the trial for Jorge DePina after the defense and prosecution delivered their closing arguments.  

The state is pushing for a guilty verdict on the charge of first degree murder, arguing that DePina killed his daughter Aleida with intent and premeditation. The jury could find him guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter, instead.

Lead defense attorney John MacDonald says the state has not proven his client delivered the fatal blow that perforated his daughter’s intestine and killed her, but he’s not arguing his innocence, either.

"Jorge Depina is criminally responsible for the death of his daughter it’s just not the cause they want," he says.

He says despite video evidence of child abuse, that’s not what caused Aleida’s death, and he never intended to kill her, therefore it’s not murder.

He pointed to testimony that Aleida fell off her bike two days before she died, and that DePina showed criminal negligence by not taking her to the hospital.

"The state proved through his inaction he committed the lesser included offense of manslaughter."

Lead prosecutor Shannon Signore takes jurors back to a video they saw of DePina and Aleida.

“That blunt force trauma, that last blow he intended, happened 12-24 hours before she presented dead."

She says Maria Cruz’s testimony of the bike fall is a lie.

"It was completely fabricated, and if it wasn’t, it sure isn’t within the timeline."

© WLNE-TV 2018