AP NEWS

Havasu mom accused of killing 2-year-old daughter gets $20K for defense costs

April 11, 2019

A Mohave County Superior Court Judge has approved $20,000 in county funding to secure expert witnesses in the defense of a Lake Havasu City woman accused in the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

Brittany Rodriquez, 26, was arrested last January on charges of murder and child abuse in the death of Gabriella Lamorie, her youngest daughter. Although Clark County Coroner’s reports show the cause of Gabriella’s death to have been blunt-force head and neck trauma allegedly inflicted by her father, 23-year-old Andrew Lamorie, severe malnutrition was deemed a significant factor in the girl’s death.

Rodriquez alleged in an interview with Lake Havasu City Police detectives that she also suffered physical abuse from Lamorie. This Tuesday, Sipe approved $20,000 in county funding to provide expert witnesses for Rodriquez’s defense.

Those witnesses include California-based forensic psychologist Martin H. Williams, who is expected to describe symptoms of battered women syndrome, and how they may apply to Rodriquez. He is also expected to explain how the disorder may have led to Rodriquez’s actions or lack of action in preventing her daughter’s death.

Another witness will be Phillip Resnick, a medical doctor who is expected to provide expert testimony on the cause of Gabriella’s death, and show that it was Lamorie who may have been directly responsible.

Codefendants Rodriquez and Lamorie were arrested last January after their daughter was found unconscious and barely breathing on the floor of their home, and transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center by emergency first responders. Gabriella was later flown to a Las Vegas hospital, where she died three days later from injuries that police say were consistent with severe physical abuse.

Lamorie, who police say inflicted physical abuse against his daughter, was also charged with counts of aggravated assault, child abuse, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also later charged with animal cruelty after a dog was found in his home, which police say was suffering from a serious, long-untreated leg injury.

Lamorie was scheduled to appear in Sipe’s courtroom Tuesday afternoon at a change of plea hearing. That hearing has been continued to May 7.

Lamorie and Rodriquez were initially offered an agreement by prosecutors in which one or both would plead guilty to charges of murder, and accept a sentence of 25 years in prison without the possibility of early release. Neither has accepted that offer as of Friday, and are now awaiting a scheduled Nov. 5 trial date.

As of Wednesday, both defendants remained in custody at Mohave County Jail on $250,000 bond.