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Perez trial delayed


STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -  The trial for a Bancroft man accused of causing a 2-year-old’s death has been moved back five months. Reymundo Perez is accused of throwing Felix Espinoza-Villa to the ground twice October 26th of last year because he would not stop crying. The child died two days later.

According to court documents, Perez was babysitting the child for his girlfriend October 26th 2011 at his trailer in Bancroft.

An autopsy found the boy's spinal cord had been cut and that he died from blunt force injuries to his head, stomach and other parts of his body.

The child's mother has been charged with beating the child with a sandal and rhinestone-studded belt buckle. Police say the mother did not cause the child's death. Defense attorney Gary Schmalz doesn’t believe it was Perez’s fault.

Prosecutor Veronica Isherwood says this delay is adding hardship to the victim’s mother...NWS 5842 :16 sec. “...this tragedy.”

Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood is disappointed the defense waited this long to request the services of an expert witness.  Judge John Finn says Perez is entitled to the expert, and with other options exhausted, Portage County could end up paying close to $18,000 for Dr. Janice Ophoven’s services.

Defense attorney Gary Schmalz successfully argued his client needs the testimony of the expert witness, saying there are inconsistencies with the medical reports and the autopsy.  He believes Dr. Janice Ophoven’s evaluation and opinion will support his client’s position.

The trial was to begin in January. The new trial is set for eight days beginning June 12th of next year.

Editor's note:  The soundbites used on the radio from Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood and attorney Gary Schmalz are attached to this story.  Play them by clicking on the application under the picture.