Tears shed at murder trial
On the morning of Jan. 24, 2014, Courtney Ward waved to her 2-year-old, Spongebob-pajama-clad son John Paul Gonzalez Jr., fondly referred to as "Fatty," in the backseat of the car after her boyfriend dropped her off at work at Fort Sill. He was happy and supposed to be headed to grandma's house, but for some reason, Charles Weimer didn't drop the boy off with Courtney's mother that morning.
It wasn't until 1:51 p.m. that Weimer, who had phoned into his employer around 12:30 p.m. to report he was taking his ill son to the hospital, called the boy's grandma to say he decided to go into work and would be dropping Gonzalez off shortly. Five minutes later, he called to say the boy had fallen down the stairs out-side the apartment he and Ward shared, 1127 E. Gore. Weimer went to pick up his girlfriend at work, and 45 minutes after he said J.P. was hurt, the two brought the boy to the emergency room.
Just over six hours after waving goodbye, emergency room staff who fought to save the boy told Courtney Ward her son was dead.
Ward and her mother, Vennisa, said Weimer told them both he was sorry for what defense attorneys Gerald Lee and James Hankins argue was a tragic accident, but the state began presenting evidence Wednesday, including emotionally charged testimony from family members and a doctor who treated the child, in an attempt to prove the 24-year-old is guilty of first-degree murder by child abuse.
"It's no accident you were here today," Comanche County Assistant District Attorney Irma Newburn told the jury finally selected Wednesday morning during her opening statements. "[...] The death of John Paul Gonzalez Jr. was also no accident."