A San Antonio man will serve at least 25 years of the 50 year sentence he agreed to after pleading guilty to burning his girlfriend's eight-year-old daughter. Prosecutor Chris DeMartino disputes Victor Acosta's claims that the autistic child was accidentally burned:
During the trial, jurors heard testimony that the shower water reached up to 157 degrees and that human instinct would cause even those with severe autism to step away from such temperatures.
The pattern of the third-degree burns are consistent with the girl being held down, DeMartino said. The girl, whose autism prevents her from speaking, has undergone multiple surgeries and has almost died as a result of the burns, he said.
Matthew Taranto, a 28-year-old man with Aspergers, has been accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his father. His attorney, Scott Miller, insists that Taranto acted out of fear:
"I can tell you one thing, this is definitely not a murder case," Miller said. "It may be a self-defense case. When his father pulled a weapon on him, my client was clearly afraid for his life. Some minutes later, that same semi-automatic pistol was used by my client to shoot his father." The shooting occurred in the basement, he added.
Majid Hussain pleaded guilty to assaulting a 17-year-old boy with Aspergers:
Prosecuting, Radha Vaithianathar, said: “The complainant has learning disabilities and suffers from autism and Asperger syndrome.
“He was stood at the entrance to the college.
“The defendant thought the boy had thrown the object at his car.
“He approached the boy and punched him twice in the face.”
In the current phase of the Shaun Rossington trial, one of the defendants, a 17-year-old is being accused of being the primary attacker and the only one of the group of seven truly responsible for the death of Rossington, a 21 year old man with Aspergers. A lawyer defending other one of the gang accused the boy of sadism:
Andrew Campbell-Tiech, a QC defending Shelbourne, told the first 17- year-old boy giving evidence: "You tried to carve your initials into his back."
He replied: "Not at all."
Mr Campbell-Tiech continued: "That's the measure of the pleasure you get from the infliction of pain. You enjoy it, don't you?"
The boy, who admits manslaughter but denies murder, said: "Not at all. I didn't do anything."
David Farrell, defending, asked the 17-year-old boy: "How did matters come to an end?"
He responded: "By Nick jumping on to Shaun's head with two feet. Then we stopped and walked away.
"He was bloodied, definitely not unconscious. As I turned around, it seemed like he was getting to his feet. I told him not to grass.
"My intention was just to give him a kicking – a bloodied nose or mouth."
Mr Farrell said: "Did you think he had suffered real serious injuries when you left?" The teenager said: "No."