The mother of a 3-year-old Taft girl was arrested Tuesday on a murder charge, more than three months after Sheriff's deputies say the toddler was beaten to death. Deputies say Angela Hanna's daughter was tortured by her then live-in boyfriend in January.
Hanna was booked into the downtown jail Tuesday morning on $2 million bail. Hanna's boyfriend at the time of her daughter's death, Eric Foster, was arrested and charged a day after the girl died.
New court documents obtained by 17 News, describe what led up to the death of Trinity Hanna and the arrest of her mother. In those documents, deputies say the toddler sustained water burns, genital trauma, tears in her intestine and a head injury. Her mother, Angela Hanna, faces three felony charges including, second degree murder, willful cruelty to a child and great bodily injury to a child.
Defense Attorney David Torres is not representing Hanna, but says the outcome of her case depends on how much Hanna knew about her daughter's abuse.
"The parent has an obligation to the child itself and should always provide care and supervision for the child, so in this particular situation, if the mother knew or should have known the child had been tortured or injured, she obviously should have contacted the authorities and secondly seek medical attention," said Torres.
But, court documents reveal over and over again, Hanna did not call authorities and waited to take the girl to see a doctor. Detectives go on to say, there was a series of signs of abuse that were not reported by Hanna.
"We need to know about much she knew, what she didn't know, but also what were the obvious signs, what type of damages were manifesting on her body. She would obviously see there's signs of bruising, severe bruising," continued Torres.
Detectives say Foster confessed to slamming the toddler into a coffee table, burning her in a hot bath, and slamming her onto a bike and high chair.
"The fact that he did confess, we have to look at what her culpability is and the extent of her culpability and then again how neglectful she was as a mother and why she didn't take her to the hospital immediately," said Torres.
Detectives say when the 3-year-old was burned, Hanna didn't take her to the doctor for three days. They say she never took the toddler to the doctor for her vaginal injuries and waited a day before going to the hospital after Trinity hurt her head on the coffee table, which caused her to continuously vomit.
Detectives say after the girl died, Hanna told them, 'Foster had a series of accidents with Trinity which always seemed to happen outside of her view.'
"If the mother obviously sees that and she doesn't do anything about it, then more likely than not she could be held culpable on that," noted Torres.
Foster was back in court Tuesday, facing a first degree murder charge. He is now eligible for the death penalty, but it is unclear if prosecutors will seek it. Foster has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Angela Hanna declined a request from 17 News for a jailhouse interview. She is scheduled to be in court Thursday.