Published May 19, 2008
GREELEY, Colo. – A Johnstown teenager has been ordered to stand trial after a 7-year-old girl in his care died in what police said was a beating that imitated the "Mortal Kombat" video game.
A Weld County judge ruled Friday there was enough evidence to warrant a trial for Lamar Roberts, 17, accused of child abuse resulting in the Dec. 6 death of Zoe Garcia and child abuse resulting in serious injury. A trial date will be set after a June 20 court hearing.
His girlfriend, Heather Trujillo, 16, Zoe's half-sister, is scheduled to stand trial July 7. Both will be tried as adults.
Zoe died of blunt-force trauma to the head after she was hit, kicked and slammed to the floor as the teens reportedly re-enacted the video game, authorities have alleged. The two were baby-sitting while the sisters' mother, Dana Trujillo, 30, was at work.
During Friday's court hearing, Johnstown Police Detective Kathy Halldorson testified that Trujillo told police Roberts pushed Zoe, twisted her arms and held her ankles as she struggled to breathe.
Trujillo and Roberts tried reviving Zoe under running water before calling the sisters' mother and 911, according to court affidavits.
Roberts later told a friend, Janee Cardenas, "he was doing martial arts on her (Zoe) and that his hands were registered weapons," Halldorson said.