Trial begins in case of Nixmary Brown's mother

BROOKLYN - Opening arguments were heard Thursday in the trial of the mother of Nixmary Brown, the little girl who was brutally beaten to death by her stepfather two years ago.

The mother, Nixaliz Santiago, is accused of standing by while her young daughter was battered by her husband, Cesar Rodriguez, in their Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment.

Rodriguez is already serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted of manslaughter in March for his role in the girl?s death.

According to prosecutors, Santiago ignited the rage in her husband, who took it out on the little girl. They say the woman did nothing to save her daughter, who was calling out to her while lying naked on the floor and being hit by her stepfather.

After the beating, prosecutors add, Santiago remained idle and did not provide medical help to Nixmary.

Addressing members of the jury, Santiago?s attorneys insisted the woman is not a monster, and that she loved Nixmary and her other children very much. The defense also claimed Santiago herself was the victim of an abusive relationship with Rodriguez, who is the real killer of Nixmary.

As to Santiago?s alleged reluctance to give her daughter medical help, her lawyers say she was not aware Nixmary was dying.

The trial is expected to continue Friday with the testimony of a police officer.

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