US mum on trial for ‘causing son’s death over potty training’

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The jury trial of a Utah mother charged with child abuse and aggravated murder for causing the death of her six-year-old son began today.

Prosecutors said the alleged abuse was related to potty training.

Reyna Flores-Rosales, 34, has been charged with three counts of child abuse and the aggravated murder of her son.

Reyna Flores-Rosales, a Utah woman, is charged with child abuse and aggravated murder.
Prosecutors said the alleged abuse occurred during Reyna Flores-Rosales’ potty training of her son, Norlin. (KSL)

She sat in front of a jury of seven women and five men as she listened to a Spanish interpreter repeat what was being said about her case.

Prosecutor Richard Pehrson showed the jury the last texts she sent about her son, Norlin.

In the text sent hours before she called 911 on Feb. 25, 2019, Flores-Rosales said she would leave him on the toilet until he pooped, and “it’s exhausting.” .

The lawyer said Norlin died of blunt force trauma to the head – determined it was not an accidental injury – and had other injuries all over his body which allegedly been incredibly painful.

The injuries were in various stages of healing, including a significant burn on the child’s back and buttocks, according to Pehrson.

He also cited the mother’s guilt and an ever-changing story as evidence in the case.

Pehrson said Flores-Rosales initially said she was the only person watching her son and that her clumsiness and insistence on using hot water caused the injuries – she later blamed the injuries to other people, including a man who lived downstairs.

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The jury viewed videos of Flores-Rosales talking to his son, including a clip where he expressed concerns about being punished.

Pehrson showed photos of the boy’s numerous injuries and broadcast a 911 call where Flores-Rosales urgently requested help for her son, whom she said she left alone in the bathroom.

Defense attorney Deborah Kreeck Mendez asked the jury to be aware of the pain of the trial for her client and said the loss of a child is devastating for everyone.

She pointed out that when calling 911, her client was frantic and that the events had been devastating for her.

Mendez said officers only ever considered the mother and may have overlooked evidence pointing to other people.

She said that at the time of the boy’s death, Flores-Rosales was in an unmanageable situation due to a lack of money and the presence of drugs, specifically involving his downstairs neighbor, who was later found guilty. to be a drug dealer.

“Everything was stressful, everything was chaotic,” she said.

Mendez said the downstairs neighbor would turn up the heat on the water heater, a possible explanation for the burns, and that due to the neighbor’s complaints, she was no longer able to use the washer and the dryer in the garage and had to go to the laundromat. , which makes potty training difficulties even more difficult for the mother.

Mendez said Flores-Rosales was asking his family and the boy’s father in Honduras for help, which is why the videos of his frustration with his son were on his phone, and trying to send his son to where more people could help him.

She told the jury that aggravated murder was the highest possible charge and that it was the wrong charge for this situation.

The trial is scheduled to run until February 1.

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US mum on trial for ‘causing son’s death over potty training’

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