KINGMAN — With no objection from prosecutor Jacob Cote during a Tuesday hearing in Kingman, Mohave County Judge Billy Sipe quickly granted a defense motion to sever the cases of two Lake Havasu City residents charged with the murder of their child.
Andrew Lamorie, 23, and Brittany Rodriquez, 26, had been scheduled to be tried together next month for the January death of 27-month-old Gabriella Lamorie.
The girl weighed just 14 pounds at the time of her death at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, according to the Clark County coroner. In addition to the emaciation, the autopsy report noted that Gabriella had suffered brain injuries.
“The cause of death is blunt force head and neck trauma with severe malnutrition listed as another significant condition,” forensic pathologist Jennifer Corneal wrote in her autopsy report. “The cause of death is homicide.”
Lamorie’s attorney, Robin Puchek, in his severance motion memorandum, told Sipe that the defendants should undergo separate legal proceedings because their defenses will be “mutually antagonistic.” The motion asserted that Rodriquez had incriminated Lamorie in statements provided to police detectives during questioning.
Puchek said Rodriquez told officers that she saw Lamorie smack Gabriella in the head with his open hand on at least one occasion.
“I just stopped opening my eyes and fighting for her,” Rodriquez reportedly told detectives.
Puchek’s memorandum said Rodriquez told police that she could withstand their daughter’s crying but that Lamorie was unable to handle it.
“You signed up to be a parent. If you weren’t willing to do this you this, you shouldn’t have done it,” Rodriquez said, according to Puchek. His motion said that Rodriquez conceded she should have done more to protect Gabriella.
Puchek further noted that Rodriquez told police she lost several teeth when Lamorie punched her in the face in 2014.
Following the severance ruling, Cote told Sipe that he’ll have to confer with Puchek and Ron Gilleo, Rodriquez’s attorney, to determine which defendant should be tried first. It was agreed that an Oct. 15 pretrial management conference would be the time to decide whether Lamorie or Rodriquez goes to trial on Nov. 5.