HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A jury has convicted a former pediatric nurse in the poisoning her then 4-year-old daughter with salt.
Closing arguments lasted almost two hours on Thursday in the trial of Katie Ripstra before jurors deliberated.
Ripstra kept the same calm demeanor throughout the closing arguments, never taking the witness stand herself. She was accused of causing serious bodily harm to daughter Parker.
Defense attorneys opened by reminding the jury that they were all carefully selected because they could be trusted. That's why they say the evidence or lack there of speaks volumes. Their biggest argument is that this case has no evidence. They pointed out that there are no videos from the hospital that show the mother poisoned Parker.
The defense kept saying that this is not a child abuse case, they claim this is a malpractice issue. They say the doctors who treated Parker at Texas Children's Hospital should be held accountable for what they call not treating a very sick child. Attorneys say this is the hospital's way of sweeping their mistakes under the carpet.
But prosecutors say the evidence is right in front of everyone's eyes as they pulled out 15 boxes filled with 40,000 pages of medical documents. They say that is Parker's four years of life in a nutshell. The state says doctors trusted Ripstra because "No one wants to believe a mom would lie about her own child's medical condition." That's what they say Ripstra was doing because she liked the attention she was receiving from other mothers on Facebook for having a sick child.
The state pointed out Parker nearly died and had to be put on life support. They say the child was never properly treated because Ripstra was poisoning her daughter.
Parker remains in Child Protective Services custody. Ripstra could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. The punishment phase of the trial begins on Friday.