A physician at a Roseville hospital said Wednesday he suspected that an unresponsive 16-month-old girl brought to the emergency room last year was a victim of shaken baby syndrome.
The doctor, Christopher Markus, testified Wednesday in the murder trial of Veronica Martinez Salcedo, a nanny accused of causing the death of Hannah Rose Juceam of Roseville.
Prosecutors contend Martinez Salcedo, 36, shook Hannah so violently on May 11, 2006, that the baby suffered brain injuries. They also say she later offered four versions of what happened to Hannah.
Prosecutors say doctors concluded Hannah was brain-dead, leading the parents, Scott and Lorena Juceam, to have the baby taken off life support two days later.
Martinez Salcedo's attorney, Mary Beth Acton, told the jury in her opening statement Tuesday that evidence will show Hannah was not brain-dead when the parents had life support ended.
Markus told the jury that when Hannah was brought to the emergency room, she had symptoms of a seizure. Her teeth were clenched, and her eyes were in a fixed gaze to one side, he said. One pupil was dilated, a sign the baby may have suffered head trauma, he said.
A brain scan showed bleeding and swelling, Markus said, but he could find no external injury. Bleeding behind the retina was another possible indication of shaken baby syndrome, he said. "I felt it was time to get the police department involved," he said.
Lorena Juceam testified earlier she had gone to a bank and left Hannah in the care of Martinez Salcedo.
Juceam said she was out of the house for 15 to 20 minutes when the phone rang, and a nervous Martinez Salcedo told her something was wrong with Hannah. "She said Hannah was on the floor," Juceam said. "She said (Hannah) was not responding."
Juceam called 911 from the bank parking lot.
The baby's mother said she later learned from doctors at Sutter Memorial Hospital, where Hannah had been transferred, that the child had head trauma and may have fallen or been a victim of shaken baby syndrome.
Juceam, a native of El Salvador, said she then called Martinez Salcedo, who is from Mexico, and asked her in Spanish if she had shaken Hannah.
The nanny responded by saying "ay, ay, ay" and then began "freaking out" to the point where she could not be understood or calmed, Juceam said. The Spanish expression of "ay, ay, ay" is similar to someone saying "oh, oh, oh" in English because of worry, fear or despair.
Juceam, fighting back tears, testified doctors told her and her husband that Hannah "was not going to make it." She said she would never have had her baby taken off life support if doctors had told her she would recover.
The trial will resume today in Placer Superior Court in Auburn.