HONOLULU – Jurors are deliberating whether a mother is guilty of assaulting her 15-month-old daughter during a flight from Alaska to Hawaii.
A jury of 10 women and two men began deliberating Monday in the case against Samantha Leialoha Watanabe.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein says in his closing statement that flight attendants testified they have seen people treat luggage better than Watanabe treated the toddler.
Prosecutors say Watanabe cursed at her daughter Clementine, smacked her in the head, hit her in the face with a stuffed doll and yanked out tufts of her hair. They say passengers and flight attendants on the May 3 Alaska Airlines flight believed Watanabe was unnecessarily rough to a generally well-behaved toddler.
Watanabe's defense attorneys say she didn't do anything beyond permissible parental discipline.