Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Prosecutor: Tampa man beat 2-year-old to death because he wet his pants

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — During a sad, weary day viewing photos of the small, battered body of Yandel Martinez on an autopsy slab, a jury was told that the 2-year-old boy died in 2010 because he wet his pants.

The jury was told Yandel bled to death internally after a head-to-toe beating — including a fatal blow to the stomach — by Wilfredo Reyes, his mother's boyfriend, before Reyes went outside to cook a family barbecue.

But Reyes' defense attorney said Yandel got only a spanking from Reyes that day and died from an accidental fall down the stairs.

Tuesday was the opening day of trial for Reyes, now 29, charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse for what happened to Yandel at a Tampa apartment complex on Sept. 6 two years ago.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon showed graphic autopsy photos that revealed bruises under Yandel's scalp, more bruises over his entire torso, including his groin area, and a torn piece of his abdominal cavity that caused the child to bleed to death.

"What was his great offense to cause this beating?" Harmon asked in his opening statement. "The evidence will show he peed on himself. He wasn't potty-trained. It made the defendant so angry he hit the 2-year-old so hard he vomited all over himself."

Harmon said Reyes then put the child in the corner of a bedroom closet for 20 to 30 minutes as a "time out." Afterward, Reyes walked the boy across the complex to a barbecue cookout, Harmon said.

All the time, blood was filling Yandel's abdominal cavity. When Tampa police answered a 911 call, they found Yandel lying below an outside staircase, not breathing. Frantic efforts at CPR failed.

Harmon said the jury would hear a tape of Reyes' statements to police in which he gradually opened up, admitting to striking the child hard and watching him "cry and cry."

But Reyes' attorney, Gregory Hill, told jurors, "The evidence will not show murder."

Hill said Reyes did take Yandel into a bedroom to spank him — either for wetting himself or spilling juice on his pants. He said Reyes may have struck Yandel with the side of his hand as the boy flailed on the bed.

Hill said Yandel's mother then gave the child a bath, dressed him and took him to the barbecue.

While food was on the grill, Hill said, Reyes took Yandel back to the apartment for potatoes. He said Reyes left Yandel on an outside stairway, went into the kitchen and heard thumping noises outside. He found Yandel lying at the bottom of the stairs.

Hill said Reyes gave the unconscious child "two quick breaths" and carried him back to the barbecue where others called 911.

The recorded police interviews, Hill said, would show that detectives did most of the talking and put words in Reyes' mouth that he didn't mean.

Yandel's mother, Yasmin Torres, wasn't present on the first day of trial, though many family members on both sides were.

The trial before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett Battles is expected to last all week.

Comments
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

 
Updated: 9 hours ago

Updated: 9 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Published: 11/23/17

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Published: 11/23/17
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17