DEATH

The Oklahoman - - FRONT PAGE -

After­ward, de­fense at­tor­ney Perry Hud­son con­soled the woman’s fam­ily out­side the court­room.

“I re­spect the jury’s de­ci­sion, but I’m ter­ri­bly dis­ap­pointed,” Hud­son told

Dur­ing the trial, the at­tor­ney con­tended the baby’s death was a “tragic ac­ci­dent, not a crime.”

Dur­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments, As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Lori McCon­nell said, “It’s a tragedy, but don’t con­fuse that with an ac­ci­dent.”

The pros­e­cu­tor al­leged a se­ries of neg­li­gent ac­tions by Gon­za­les ul­ti­mately led to the death of her child, Ashanti Hunt.

Be­fore leav­ing for the nail sa­lon, Gon­za­les’ 16-year-old daugh­ter, Atavia Robin­son, asked if they were tak­ing Ashanti with them to the nail sa­lon, the daugh­ter tes­ti­fied. Gon­za­les, who was on the phone when asked, nod­ded, “Yes.” Gon­za­les’ at­tor­ney con­tended the mother was dis­tracted when asked.

Gon­za­les tes­ti­fied dur­ing the trial. She said when she left the house, she didn’t see Ashanti with the other chil­dren but as­sumed the in­fant was in an­other room, McCon­nell told the ju­rors. The pros­e­cu­tor said Gon­za­les left the house “know­ing she never laid eyes on her child.”

Pros­e­cu­tors also noted that Gon­za­les didn’t check in with her younger chil­dren who were left at the house while she was at the nail sa­lon. At least three other fe­male sib­lings were left, the old­est be­ing 12 at the time, ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony.

Robin­son, now 18, told ju­rors she for­got she put Ashanti in the ve­hi­cle. The baby was asleep, not mak­ing any noise and placed be­hind the driver’s

seat, she said. Gon­za­les’ at­tor­ney con­tended the daugh­ter for­got about Ashanti be­cause of be­ing ex­cited to get her nails done.

Gon­za­les and Robin­son didn’t re­al­ize the baby had been left in the ve­hi­cle un­til af­ter ar­riv­ing back home from the nail sa­lon, pros­e­cu­tors said. The baby was pro­nounced dead at a hos­pi­tal that af­ter­noon.

Emer­gency re­spon­ders tes­ti­fied the baby was un­re­spon­sive and “very hot” to the touch. The

baby’s core body tem­per­a­ture reached 110 de­grees, caus­ing her death, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors.

Gon­za­les ini­tially told po­lice she brought her baby into the nail sa­lon with her, po­lice re­ported. She also said Ashanti was left in the ve­hi­cle about 20 min­utes with the air con­di­tion­ing on af­ter re­turn­ing home, po­lice re­ported.

Gon­za­les later ad­mit­ted she lied dur­ing her ini­tial in­ter­view with po­lice, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors.

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