By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge has rejected a defense motion to dismiss the first-degree murder charge against a father embroiled in an horrific child abuse and neglect case.
Latiff Hadi and Tina Cuffie (also known as Floyd and Tina Wimes) are charged with the murder of their son earlier this year (see previous story).
The medical examiner testified earlier that six-year-old Khalil Wimes had too many old and new injuries to count, and he had been starved. The boy weighed just 29 pounds when he died (see related story).
But defense attorney Derrick Coker argued that the father wasn’t the main perpetrator, the mother was. And, Coker says, although the father’s response may have been feeble, he did make some effort to avert the tragedy.
But prosecutor Edward McCann argued that the inescapable conclusion is the child suffered prolonged abuse and neglect by both parents, even if one accepted that the father didn’t inflict any of the physical injuries.
“I think the judge pretty much agreed with our argument that the inaction plus the starvation equals the specific intent to kill,” McCann told KYW Newsradio afterward.
The judge said it was a “close fall’ on first-degree murder for the father, but said it should be up to the factfinder, another judge, or a jury to decide.
Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.