Family to Stand Trial for Death of 3-Year-Old in “Exorcism”

San Jose, CA – The family of a 3-year-old girl is facing trial for the tragic death that occurred during a 12-hour “exorcism” at a church in San Jose, California. Claudia Hernandez, Rene Trigueros Hernandez, and Rene Aaron Hernandez Santos have been charged with felony child abuse causing death and could potentially face a life sentence. The preliminary hearing, currently underway, will determine if there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

According to a press release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the group, including the toddler’s mother, grandfather, and uncle, allegedly smothered and strangled the child until she died of asphyxia. The incident took place at a small makeshift church on September 24, 2021. Evidence presented suggests that the family members alternated between praying, strangling, and forcefully pressing on the child’s body to expel what they believed was an evil spirit.

Authorities have reported numerous injuries on the 3-year-old’s body, including those to her neck, chest, and internal organs. Dr. Michelle Jorden, the Santa Clara County’s chief medical examiner, confirmed that the child died at the hands of another. Jorden’s autopsy revealed bruising and markings on the child’s neck and face, as well as injuries consistent with biting the tongue and violent shaking. Additionally, a tear in the girl’s aorta indicated smothering as the cause of death.

The harrowing details of this case have stunned the community and raised questions about the extent of child abuse that occurred during the so-called exorcism. As the trial unfolds, it is expected that further evidence and witnesses will shed light on the events leading to the child’s tragic death.

Investigators, legal experts, and child advocacy groups are closely following the proceedings. The trial offers an opportunity to address the profound tragedy and highlight the importance of protecting vulnerable children. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications in terms of public awareness and ensuring justice for the victims of child abuse.