By Calvin Palmer
A Texas mother was today convicted of cutting off her five-week-old son’s genitals.
Jurors in Houston deliberated for three hours before finding Katherine Nada, 28, guilty of serious bodily injury to a child.
The jury will now hear evidence in the punishment phase of the trial before deciding Nadal’s sentence. She faces up to life in prison.
During the week-long trial, Nadal claimed it was the family dog, a dachshund named “Shorty,” who attacked Holden Gothia, in their suburban Houston apartment in March 2007, as she slept next to him. An animal behavior expert testified on behalf of Nadal, saying this was possible.
Prosecutor Tammy Thomas scoffed at the claim by Nadal’s defense.
“Their reasonable explanation, are you ready for this? The dog ate the evidence,” she told jurors. “That doesn’t even work for homework anymore. It’s not only unbelievable, it’s ridiculous.”
Prosecutors said Nadal was high on drugs when she attacked Holden with an unknown sharp instrument. Doctors who examined Holden testified it was not possible for the dog to have caused the injuries.
Thomas said Nadal and Holden’s father, Camden Gothia, 38, got into an argument on night before the attack because Nadal was high on cocaine.
Authorities say Nadal, who has a history of drug abuse and has had prior drug arrests, tested positive for cocaine, methadone and Xanax after the attack.
Skip Cornelius, one of Nadal’s defense attorneys, told jurors his client was not on trial for negligence or using drugs or child endangerment.
“You can conclude she’s a bad mom. She’s on trial for intentionally doing this. Other than their theories, you have no evidence,” he said.
Investigators did not find DNA or blood evidence on any instrument or sharp object they found in the apartment or in the sink or garbage disposal.
Prosecutor Denise Oncken told jurors no DNA evidence or weapon was found because Nadal cleaned the crime scene before authorities arrived.
Holden, now aged two, lives with his paternal aunt and her husband, who were given custody after his parents relinquished their rights. His father sees him regularly.