SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A preliminary hearing was held Monday for the Yuma Marine charged with unpremeditated murder and involuntary manslaughter following the death of a 20-month-old girl.
The first witness in the hearing for Lance Cpl. Jared T. Cardwell was Yuma Regional Medical Center Doctor Philip Richemont. Richemont testified he was on duty when the toddler, Celine, was brought to YRMC. Richemont said the marks on the girl’s face were “striking”.
Richemont agreed with the report of Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Doctor Gregory Hess, who said the cause of Celine’s death was blunt force trauma to the head. The report also showed the marks on here face were caused by chemical burns.
Hess also said there was bruising all over the girl’s back. He also said there were 10 different injuries to the head, meaning that the girl was hit or dropped 10 different times.
Firefighter Victor Paredes also took the stand. He was the first person in the house at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma to respond to the incident. He said the baby girl was not breathing when they arrived. Paredes said he asked the mother what happened, and the mother said she did not know. He also noticed red dots on the girl’s back and face.
In Monday’s hearing it was also revealed there is a video of Celine taken the day before her death, where she appears to be healthy and without any signs of injury.
The 20-month-old girl died at MCAS Yuma on May 19.
Cardwell was arrested May 22.
Cardwell is in the custody of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Monday’s hearing will determine if this case goes to a court martial. KSWT 13 On Your Side Anchor Cyndi Lundeberg is in San Diego and will have the latest details on this story in later editions of our newscasts.