BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man accused of inflicting fatal injuries to his 7-week-old daughter will remain charged with murder and child assault after a judge denied a defense motion Tuesday.
Defense attorney David A. Torres had asked the court to set aside the charges against Gregory Higgins, saying Higgins gave his daughter CPR and did everything in his power to save her. Torres said the girl, who had Down syndrome, suffered injuries while being given medical aid.
None of HIggins’ actions were “cold and callous,” Torres said.
Prosecutor Stephanie Zigler, however, said Higgins knew just how to hurt his daughter, given her condition, and continued to act in ways that would harm her. The child suffered skull fractures and bleeding on the brain. Zigler said Higgins lied to police and showed no emotion when told he was barred from seeing his critically injured baby at the hospital.
Judge Elizabet Rodriguez, noting Higgins already had a preliminary hearing where a judge found sufficient evidence to support the charges, denied Torres’ motion.
She also denied a motion to reduce bail, which is set at $2 million. Torres had argued for the reduction in part because of Higgins’ medical issues caused by Valley Fever.
Rodriguez set a status conference for April 4, at which time a trial date will likely be set.
On Sept. 15, 2021, police were dispatched to a report of a baby not breathing at a home near Calloway Drive and Brimhall Road in northwest Bakersfield. Medical personnel rushed the child to a hospital, where doctors found injuries consistent with child abuse, police said. The baby died at the hospital.
Higgins told police he was home alone with the baby while his wife and their two other children went to McDonald’s to pick up lunch. He said the child started fussing in her bassinet and he held her.
The baby stopped breathing, Higgins told police. He said he performed CPR for two minutes then called 911 and received further instructions as emergency responders were dispatched.
Police reinterviewed Higgins upon learning of the severity of the child’s injuries.
Higgins told investigators he bumped the baby’s head on a glass table the month before while removing her from the bassinet, according to court documents. He said the injury was minor. The other injuries might have been unintentionally inflicted when he performed CPR, Higgins said.