Safety of mystery witness holds up Nixzmary trial

BROOKLYN - The trial of a Brooklyn man in the death of his stepdaughter, Nixzmary Brown, was delayed for a fourth day Monday.

Attorneys met with the judge in a closed-door meeting to discuss "legal issues." The judge later revealed in court that the issues involve the safety and security of a potential witness. The court is trying to determine whether the witness can take the stand in open court.

Whether or not a gag order can be dropped was also at issue.

The prosecution is currently presenting its case against Cesar Rodriguez in the 2006 beating death of Brown, 7, in her Bedford-Stuyvesant home. According to prosecutors, Rodriguez beat the girl, bound her with duct tape and forced her to use a litter box.

The 36-pound victim was also allegedly dunked in cold water for taking a yogurt from the fridge.

If convicted, Rodriguez would face 25 years to life in prison. The girl's mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, will be tried separately.

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