Child abuse defendants to claim son has had medical issues since birth

Attorneys for child abuse defendants Carlos and Jennifer Herrera told a Scotts Bluff County District Court jury Monday that their son has been plagued with medical issues all his life. The opening arguments for the prosecution and defense took place in the trial for 35-year-old Carlos Herrera and 29-year-old Jennifer Herrera, Scottsbluff residents charged with child abuse resulting in serious injury.

The defense says the jury will hear testimony about a child that has been plagued with medical issues since his birth, resulting in numerous emergency room visits and questions of abuse that have been previously cleared.

Prosecutors say police and child services officials began investigating in October 2011, when the child missed school after showing up with injuries.

Police say when they tried to check on the child, the Herreras tried to conceal the boy's whereabouts. When the boy was found, he had the imprint of a shoe across his face, a black eye, bruising to the center of his forehead and a severe rash.

Prosecutors also say the boy suffered extreme neglect and malnutrition.

The trial is expected to last through Friday.

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