MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With her father in court, accused of killing her mother, a 12-year-old girl tells a judge her father asked her to lie about the murder.
The prosecution alleges Kleber Cordova’s daughter watched him hold her mother’s head under water in their bathtub in Morristown four years ago.
“He said to not to tell anybody, anybody what I saw,” the girl said. “It was like in the, in the waiting room.”
Mother Elaina Torres later died in the hospital.
Cordova wiped away tears as the girl spoke. “He hold my hands,” the girl said. “He looked in my eyes and said not to tell anyone what I saw.”
Through a translator, Torres’ mother Rita Valverde tearfully backed up her story, telling jurors that Cordova admitted his guilt to her.
“She had a bruise on her face,” Valverde said. “It’s my fault. I was always bad to her.”
“He had a scratch here on his face,” she added.
The defense says Cordova is innocent, that he came home to find his wife under water and called 9-1-1. They also questioned the timing of Valverde’s actions.
“But you don’t tell that to prosecutor’s office until August of 2010,” the defense attorney said.
“I asked him if water was running he said he had turned it off,” said Aracelys Carrero-Castillo, Morristown Police Dept.
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