Family Members Face Judge in Tragic ‘Exorcism’ Death of 3-Year-Old

 Family Members Face Judge in Tragic ‘Exorcism’ Death of 3-Year-Old

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In a rural California courtroom, a somber preliminary hearing commenced to determine the fate of three individuals charged with the death of a 3-year-old girl during an alleged exorcism.

The defendants—Claudia Hernandez, Rene Trigueros Hernandez, and Rene Hernandez Santos—stand accused of fatally harming young Arely Naomi Proctor during a purported attempt to rid her of a demonic possession. According to Lt. JJ Vallejo, the lead investigator, the trio believed the child was possessed, possibly triggered by something unsettling she had witnessed on her mother’s mobile phone.

The hearing, unfolding in San Jose, marks the beginning of a process to ascertain whether the case warrants a full trial. The defendants face charges of fatal child abuse linked to the tragic events of September 24, 2021, which unfolded at a small Pentecostal church overseen by Trigueros Hernandez.

Arely’s mother was the first to be arrested in early 2022, followed by Trigueros Hernandez and Hernandez Santos months later. They all face charges of child abuse resulting in death.

According to testimony presented by Lt. Vallejo, Arely suffered prolonged abuse, enduring strangulation, forced ingestion of foreign objects, and severe physical pressure leading to unconsciousness over a period of more than 12 hours.

Trigueros Hernandez reportedly admitted to attempting an exorcism on the child, along with Hernandez and Hernandez Santos, during which they held her down forcibly, depriving her of sustenance and hydration until her untimely demise.

In recorded conversations shared during the hearing, Hernandez expressed beliefs in divine intervention but also expressed concern about potential perceptions of their actions, emphasizing they did not intend to cause harm.

Vallejo recounted Trigueros Hernandez’s mention of a past exorcism experience in El Salvador, further suggesting a pattern of similar beliefs and practices.

The defendants allegedly waited hours before seeking medical assistance for Arely, despite her critical condition.

Defense counsel attempted to argue that the defendants’ actions were misguided attempts to help the child rather than intentional acts of harm.

The case gained attention months later when police, investigating another incident, discovered details of the exorcism while searching the church premises. Despite acknowledgments of the event, Trigueros Hernandez and church members deny any wrongdoing.

The court proceedings are set to continue until March 25, after which Judge Chew will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

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