Woman accused of mutilating infant son’s genitals portrayed as drug abuser

By Calvin Palmer

The trial of the Texas woman accused of cutting off her five-week-old son’s genitals opened today.

Harris County prosecutors said Katherine Nadal, 28, of Houston, was a drug abuser who showed no remorse or concern for her child as he was on the verge of death.

Defense attorneys argued that the family’s dachshund was responsible for the mutilation of Holden Gothia in March 2007.

Prosecutor Denise Oncken told the jury that the night before Holden was attacked, Nadal indicated she was going shopping with a friend but actually “went to a dope house” with her son and got high.

Camden Gothia, Holden’s father, testified that when Nadal came back, she was “not sober”. Nadal, who authorities say has a history of drug abuse and has prior drug arrests, later tested positive for cocaine, methadone and another drug.

Oncken told the jury that doctors will testify the genitals were cut in a perfect square by a sharp instrument.

An animal control officer who examined the dog, Shorty, found no blood in its mouth, on its fur or on its paws, she said.

Nadal told authorities there was a torn, bloody diaper that showed the dog had attacked her son, but no such diaper was ever found, Oncken said.

Oncken also said after Holden was attacked, Nadal was more focused on how long her son’s surgery was going to take and later left the hospital to have a beer with a friend.

Holden, who lost half the blood in his nine pound body, survived the attack, but the severed body parts were never found.

Allen Isbell, Nadal’s attorney, told jurors investigators searched the apartment and never found any instrument or sharp object, and Houston police examined the sink and the garbage disposal and found no DNA or blood evidence.

“There is another reasonable explanation for the injuries to this child,” Isbell said. “An expert on dog behavior will testify that it is possible a dog could have made those injuries.”

Two-year-old Holden now lives with Camden Gothia’s sister and her husband, who were given permanent custody after Nadal and Gothia relinquished their parental rights.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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