GREELEY, Colo. - A teenage girl and her boyfriend made brief court appearances yesterday on charges of beating her 7-year-old half-sister to death while imitating moves from the "Mortal Kombat" video game.
Heather Trujillo, 16, glanced briefly back at her mother after a judge ordered her and Lamar Roberts, 17, to remain in jail under $100,000 bail each. Roberts held back tears after a brief discussion with the judge.
Both face charges of fatal child abuse in the Dec. 6 death of Zoe Garcia and are being prosecuted as adults. They could face 16 to 48 years in prison if convicted.
The judge also ordered them not to have any contact with each other if they are released.
It wasn't immediately clear who their attorneys will be. The Weld County Public Defender's Office said it is representing one of the teens but declined to say which.
"My life was turned upside down in a flash of an instant," Heather's mother, Dana Trujillo, said. "It's so hard because I already lost one baby and now I'm losing another."
Zoe's father, Anthony Garcia, said he and Dana Trujillo had joint custody of Zoe. He said he had just discovered her whereabouts after a three-year search, and learned of her death Dec. 7.
"I didn't believe it," Garcia said. "I was working on getting papers for the custody of Zoe."
An arrest warrant affidavit said the teens kicked, karate-chopped and body-slammed Zoe at Dana Trujillo's home in Johnstown, about 35 miles north of Denver.
The coroner said Zoe died of blunt-force injuries. An autopsy showed she had a broken wrist, more than 20 bruises, swelling in the brain and bleeding in her neck muscles.
Zoe lost consciousness and stopped breathing, and the teens tried reviving her, the affidavits said.
A witness told police that Roberts said Zoe had told them to stop wrestling. According to the affidavit, when the witness asked why they didn't stop, he responded, "I don't know; I was drunk." *