(Update: Adding reason for delay, surfacing of Instagram post screenshots)
Defense attorneys began their case Tuesday morning in the murder trial of two Redmond parents accused of fatally starving their 5-year-old daughter.
Estevan Garcia and Sacora Horn-Garcia are accused of starving 5-year-old Maliyha Garcia to death in late 2016.
The first defense witness, a babysitter who worked for the family around the time of Maliyha’s death, testified that the little girl did not show any obvious signs of malnutrition. However, she did mention something the prosecution pointed out earlier in the trial — in the form of instructions from Horn-Garcia about Maliyha’s eating restrictions.
“Sacora did just warn me that, ‘Hey, if you do put Maliyha in her bed, if she does fall asleep in her bed, just be careful, because sometimes she’ll come out and try to sneak food,'” babysitter Victoria Pike said.
Pike added that Maliyha was quiet, and said she got along with the rest of the kids in the family. She also said she was shocked to hear about Maliyha’s death and the murder charges against the couple.
The trial is being delayed by two days while officials seek to authenticate newly discovered screenshots of Instagram posts, reportedly between Horn-Garcia and a trial witness. Circuit Judge Beth Bailey said they could affect the trial’s outcome.
NewsChannel 21 will continue coverage of the trial when it picks back up again on Thursday.