INDIO, Calif. - UPDATE:
No sentence was handed down on Friday. All parties are due back in court on October 12.
A La Quinta woman was scheduled to be sentenced Friday, convicted in the 2003 second-degree murder and assault of her 2-year-old stepson.
Attorneys for Patricia Brown, 52, were planning to argue she should be granted a new trial.
Brown was convicted in August 2016 following a month-long trial.
Deetrick Brown died on January 16, 2003. The child's father was a co-defendant in the case until midway through the trial.
Brown and her husband, Derrick, were first charged with murder in 2003, but a judge who presided over a preliminary hearing that October ruled there wasn't enough evidence to proceed to trial.
Prosecutors say Patricia Brown beat the child during the eight months he was in her care causing injuries that manifested themselves with a series of seizures leading up to his death at Loma Linda Children's Hospital about two months shy of his third birthday.
A decade later, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office and the sheriff's department re-examined the case and submitted new evidence that resulted in the refiling of charges against the Browns. They were re-arrested on Jan. 16, 2013 -- 10 years to the day of the boy's death.
A motion for a new trial filed by her attorneys indicates that they are seeking a retrial based on alleged prosecutorial and juror misconduct, among other claims.
Deetrick was in the custody of his biological mother until June 2001, but was removed from the home by Child Protective Services. The boy was then moved to a foster home, until the Browns took custody in April 2002.
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Paradise said in her closing argument that the toddler showed no signs of abuse until he lived with the Browns. Paradise argued that his stepmother resented the child.
"Patricia Brown was forced to raise him, a child she didn't want, a child she didn't love, a child from another woman," she said.
Paradise said no injuries were noted by physicians while the child was in foster care, nor did he suffer any abuse at the hands of his biological mother. Though Deetrick and his siblings were taken from his biological mother's home, it was because there was evidence she was abusing Deetrick's
brother, not Deetrick, the prosecutor said.
Brown's family and attorneys maintain that Deetrick suffered from undiagnosed medical issues that could have contributed to his death.
Defense attorney Brenda Miller said the boy should have been prescribed anti-seizure medication, but doctors never caught on to his condition. Miller said medical professionals also failed to diagnose diabetes and autism in the boy.
What prosecutors were calling burns and scratches were actually self- inflicted injuries caused by the boy's excessive scratching and picking at his own skin, Miller alleged.
"What is really difficult is that whenever we are in a medical crisis, we look to experts for answers. The Browns were not given any answers." Miller said.
Brown's daughter, Jasmine Nyx, along with other family members, contend that Brown is innocent and has never exhibited any abusive tendencies.
"If my mom was guilty, I wouldn't be here fighting for her like this." Nyx said outside the courthouse when Brown's sentencing was postponed in January, one of six sentencing hearings that have been rescheduled since jurors convicted her.
Nyx, who was present when Deetrick suffered his final seizure, said she never witnessed any abuse of Deetrick.
Derrick Brown went from being a co-defendant to a bystander as he was acquitted of murder charges back in July 2016. A month later Patricia Brown was convicted.
Two weeks later, jurors deliberated for less than a day before convicting Patricia Brown.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15
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