Key witness in Nixzaliz Santiago trial inconsistent

BROOKLYN - A key witness in the Nixzaliz Santiago murder trial was re-cross-examined Friday in court, due to a contradiction found between her testimony made during the trial and a comment she made before it.

In a Daily News article from January of 2006, an unattributed statement is linked to Ulbis Rivera, the witness in question. The statement said that Santiago was also abused by Cesar Rodriguez, as her daughter, Nizmary Brown, had been. However, when on the stand, Rivera told the court that Santiago was never beaten by Rodriguez.

According to the judge presiding over the trial, even if Rivera made an inconsistent statement before her court appearance, jurors should not consider it proof of what actually happened.

Authorities say Nixzmary died on Jan. 11, 2006, while being punished for stealing yogurt. Rodriguez, her stepfather, was convicted of manslaughter for delivering the fatal blow. Santiago is charged with murder and accused of doing nothing to stop Rodriguez.

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