By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Hunting Park couple has been ordered to trial for a stunning murder. The 9-month-old victim died from a staggering level of cocaine and heroin intoxication last summer. An assistant medical examiner has testified it was comparable to a case in which an adult drug mule swallowed his stash.
Prosecutor Bridget Kirn says the evidence, including pictures of the needle marks on the baby’s body, shows defendant Viameri Santana-Berrio, who was babysitting for her cousin’s son, and her boyfriend, Oscar Sanchez-Rivera, are responsible for forcing the drugs into the victim, orally and by injection.
Kirn says the motive is not known to authorities.
“In any murder case it is hard. I think when you are talking about a baby, it is even harder because you can’t imagine anyone would ever do this,” Kirn said. “Both of them repeatedly talk about his breathing problem and his snore, so who knows if there was something that he did, if it was just his mere breathing that annoyed them and that they gave him drugs to stop it, to kill him. So we may not know why, but we certainly know how.”
But the defense denies the couple was involved, arguing its speculation that the drugs were administered while they were providing care.