Judge Nancy Oesterle decided Monday that a Las Vegas couple charged in the death of a 33-month-old boy will face murder charges in District Court.
Richard “Todd” Martino, 25, and his girlfriend, Brandi Reeves, 22, are to be tried in connection with the death of Martino’s son, Zander, who was found dead at the couple’s downtown home on July 10.
A social worker testified that the boy’s sister, 4-year-old Hailey Martino, told her that their father hit Zander with a hammer.
Prosecutor Vicki Monroe argued during the five-hour preliminary hearing last week that Martino beat Zander, causing the child to die of blunt-force trauma to the abdomen. The boy’s father is facing an open count of murder, meaning prosecutors can charge him with first-degree murder.
Reeves will face a charge of second-degree murder. Monroe said she knew her boyfriend was abusing his son but did nothing about it.
The lawyers for each of the two defendants said their clients were not guilty.