Tears were shed in a Texas courtroom Wednesday, as gruesome details emerged in connection with the death of 2-year-old Savanna Roque.
Yovahnis Roque, 28, is on trial in Orange County for allegedly killing his daughter, Savannah. The jury is expected to decide if the defendant was insane at the time of the crime.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Roque allegedly confessed to an officer that he bludgeoned Savanna to death inside their Orange home, near the Louisiana border. Roque insisted he wanted to destroy a microchip implanted inside the girl’s head, which apparently was a figment of his imagination, police said.
A family member called the police after discovering Savannah deceased in the home at around 11 a.m. When deputies arrived, they found Roque, bloodied and naked, sitting on his front porch. They found the little girl, equally bloodied, deceased inside a bedroom closet.
Police arrested Roque at the scene. Initially, officers thought Savanna had been stabbed to death. They later determined she was killed with a claw hammer.
During testimony on Wednesday, Coroner John Ralston said that Savanna had numerous injuries, damage to her liver and kidneys, a skull fracture from the claw hammer, and discolored green feet. Ralston said some of the injuries happened while the toddler was still alive.
“This is not a toddler bumping into the wall type bruise,” Ralston said. “This is sharp force injuries to that side of the head.”
Psychiatric Edward Gripon, who was assigned in 2019 to assess Roque’s mental health, also took the stand. According to Gripon, Roque’s mental health issues date back to 2013; his family reportedly has a history of mental illness that Roque said added a “genetic stamp” on Roque’s mental illness issues.
Defense attorney Ryan Gertz added that Roque had tried to commit suicide six times and suffers from delusions and PTSD.
Savanna’s mother, Rachel Foster, was killed in a 2016 car accident. Roque, who was in a car with Rachel when they ran out of gas, was reportedly seriously injured. According to police, a drunk driver hit and killed Rachel along a Florida highway as she brought gas and gas can back to the car.
Rachel had just given birth to Savannah weeks before the accident. Savanna’s body was taken to Florida and buried next to her mother.
Roque is currently at the Orange County Jail being on a $2 million bond. He’s facing a capital murder charge.
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[Featured Photo: Savanna Roque/Handout]