FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Today a Tarrant County jury could decide the fate of a grandmother who pleaded guilty to murder in the death of her two-year-old grandson.
The jury will decide what kind of punishment to hand down to 44-year-old Patricia Flores, a Haltom City woman who waited nearly a full week before seeking medical treatment for her injured grandchild.
According to police, at some point Flores left the little boy alone in the bathroom, where a tub of hot water was sitting. Flores has said she ran some hot water in the bathtub to do some mopping and the left the room. The grandmother said she thought her grandson was asleep in another room, but when she returned to the bathroom she found him lying on the floor with burns on his arms, legs and buttocks.
Flores said she thought she could treat the boy herself, since she was a certified nurses assistant. It wasn’t until six days after the scalding that she called 911 when the toddler became unresponsive.
Flores told a 911 operator “I have a 2-year-old who looks like he’s in shock. He’s having trouble breathing. He’s heaving real bad, his eyes are rolling back.” Later in the call she also made an admission to the operator saying, “A couple days ago he burned himself. I have been [inaudible] treating him here at home.”
Lyfe Flores was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and then transferred to the burn center at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, but he died from his injuries.
Flores was originally arrested on charges of causing Serious Bodily Injury to a Child, but she was indicted for murder after the medical examiner ruled her grandson’s death a homicide.
The punishment phase of the trial began Tuesday. Today a 16-year-old relative of Flores’ testified for the defense – describing the relationship between the grandmother and her grandchildren as loving.
Earlier in the morning the jury heard from Dr. Brett Arnoldo who treated Lyfe Flores at Parkland Burn Center. The surgeon testified that the toddler died of an ulcer, caused after being immersed in hot water. He also said that that type of injury, if treated immediately, has a 99-percent chance of survival.
Some jurors were left in tears after the testimony and photos of the little boy shown in court today.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations around lunchtime. Flores, who again has already pled guilty, faces a sentence of five years to life in prison.