SAN ANTONIO – A rare procedural move played out in a Bexar County Courthouse Thursday in a trial of a man accused of severely injuring his child.
All week Terrence Harper has been on trial for an injury to a child charge due to an incident in 2018 that left his four-month-old son permanently disabled.
On Thursday, testimony and evidence were permitted by the judge on the case about a separate 2012 incident in which Harper was charged with capital murder.
Typically, evidence from a pending case is not talked about or permitted until a sentencing phase of a trial.
Harper is currently awaiting trial involving the death of a five-month-old baby. Harper is charged with capital murder in that case.
A San Antonio Fire Department paramedic testified that in 2012 he responded to a call of an unresponsive child that was concerning to him.
“You don’t forget cases when children are involved, and when I arrived on scene, a gentleman that was there handed the child lifeless to me,” paramedic Carlos Segura said.
That child, identified as Ethan Rodriguez, later died from head injuries and bruising to his body.
Harper was questioned about that incident since he was with the baby at the time the incident happened but wasn’t initially charged.
The interrogation footage from 2012 was also admitted and shown to the jury Thursday.
There, Harper said he had just fed the baby when he noticed the baby vomiting milk.
“So I continued to pat the baby on the back and next thing I know I see milk coming out of his nose and he’s shaking and freaking out,” Harper said in the video.
Legal rule 404 B
The testimony and evidence were allowed by 186th District Court Judge Jefferson Moore in the injury to child trial because of legal rule 404 B.
That rule allows evidence that might prove things like motive, opportunity, intent or preparation.
The special prosecutors on the case still have about seven witnesses left to testify and the trial is expected to go into next week and possibly the week after Thanksgiving.
If found guilty on the injury to a child charge, Harper is facing 5 to 99 years or life in prison.