LANCASTER – A Lancaster woman was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on murder and assault charges stemming from her 7-month-old son’s death in November 2018.
Superior Court Judge Daviann Mitchell rejected a defense motion that contended there was insufficient evidence to allow the case against Anaiyah Alise Perry, now 22, to proceed to trial.
Perry is charged with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death involving her son, Royal Marshall.
One of the Perry’s neighbors, Dustin Stober, testified that the boy’s father rushed over to his house holding his son and pleading for help on Nov. 6, 2018. The military veteran said he began CPR on the baby as his wife called 911. He said the boy’s father was “visibly upset” and “crying,” while Perry seemed to be very deadpan.
The baby was rushed to Antelope Valley Hospital and subsequently airlifted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he died the next day.
Dr. Matthew Miller, who performed an autopsy on the boy, testified that he determined the baby had died from blunt force neck trauma, with the manner of death determined to be a homicide. Dr. Carol Berkowitz, a board-certified child abuse pediatrician, testified that she reviewed records from the case and concluded that it was her opinion that the boy was subjected to a “shaking motion” near the time of his death, not 10 to 14 days earlier.
Perry initially denied shaking the baby, then later acknowledged that she had lightly shaken him about a week and a half earlier while gently rocking him back and forth, sheriff’s investigators testified. She was arrested in September 2019 by Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives and has remained behind bars in lieu of $2 million bail since then.
The judge ordered Perry not to have any contact with her older son — whom Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told the judge has permanently been removed from Perry’s custody — as well as the boys’ father and the paternal grandparents.
Perry — who is due back in a Lancaster courtroom for arraignment April 22 — could face a potential life prison term with the possibility of parole if she is convicted as charged.
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