ROSEBURG, Ore. - A 16-year-old boy sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl who later died, attorneys for the defense and prosecution agree.
A judge will decide whether Dustin Wallace, now 18, intended to kill Sahara Dwight in 2010. Wallace's father was dating Sahara's mother at the time.
Wallace waived his right to a jury trial and went on trial Tuesday morning. He is being tried as an adult.
The prosecution said his DNA was found under Sahara's fingernails and in her private areas, and that the girl had ruptured blood vessels around her face and neck. Prosecutors contend Wallace intended to sexually assault the girl and then kill her so she wouldn't tell on him.
The defense accepts that Wallace admitted to police that he "messed with her" but that he accidentally suffocated Sahara by leaning on her. His attorneys argue Wallace did not intend to kill the girl, and that he was not on his medications for bipolar disorder at the time of the girl's death.
Sahara's mother Lydia testified Tuesday morning about the night she found Dustin standing in the hallway in a T-shirt soaked with sweat. She found her daughter in bed with her shirt on inside out and no pants on. She put her hand on Sahara's stomach, something she always did because the girl breathed lightly, and could feel she wasn't breathing.
Roseburg police officers Mark Russell and Oscar Rosas testified about interviewing Wallace and surveying the scene.
Rusell said Wallace had blood on his shirt, what appeared to be rug burn on his knees, a bad wound on his toe and a small scratch on his arm. He looked visibly distraught but complied with officer requests to take pictures.
Right away, the condition of Sahara's body suggested they were dealing with a crime scene, the officers testified.
Wallace initially told them he had checked to make sure the doors and windows were locked before he went to bed, and that he found the front door ajar after awaking to a thud, the officers testified.
Paramedic Dallas Fullivan cried several times during his testimony Tuesday. He said what stood out the most to him was a toy on the floor in Sahara's room: a naked Barbie doll with red marker on the groin area.
Fullivan said he could still hear what he described as Wallace's fake cry with no emotion to it. He said he can still hear it in his head, and he wished he had a recording of it to play back for everyone.
He also testified that Wallace got up from the couch every minute or so to throw up.
The trial is expected to take 3 weeks.
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