Man given life sentences in baby's abuse death
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Saturday, April 21, 2012
4/21/12 at 5:45 AM
Tulsa County jurors imposed two life prison sentences - one without the possibility of parole - upon convicting a man Friday of neglecting and murdering his niece in Glenpool.
The jury found David Eugene Bridgeman guilty of the child-abuse murder of Adriana Hernandez, who was not yet 22 months old when she was killed in May 2011.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah McAmis maintained that Bridgeman "tortured a baby to death."
Adriana was "too little to run away, too little to fight back,'' McAmis said.
A medical examiner reported that the death was caused by multiple blunt-force injuries. The medical examiner also noted multiple bruises on the girl's head.
Prosecutors said injuries that included brain damage and a lacerated bowel were inflicted at the defendant's Glenpool residence.
Bridgeman, 29, also incurred a life term upon being convicted of a count of neglecting Adriana, linked to an allegation that he failed to get medical care for the child.
Bridgeman "knew she was hurt real bad,'' said Assistant District Attorney Julie Doss.
Bridgeman's co-defendant, Paula Najar, 22, waived her right to a trial and pleaded guilty April 12 to counts of child neglect and permitting child abuse.
Najar, who was not charged with murder, is to be sentenced June 11 by District Judge Tom Gillert.
Bridgeman's attorney, Everett Bennett, told jurors that ''we don't know who inflicted the injuries that ultimately led to her death."
Prosecutors said Bridgeman, in a statement to Glenpool police in May 2011, confessed to inflicting injuries, but at this week's trial he maintained that he had lied in that previous statement.
Evidence indicated that Adriana and her family lived in New Mexico and that she was temporarily staying with Bridgeman and Najar in Oklahoma.
Adriana was a "joyful" and "very happy baby" and was easy to take care of, said her father, Guadalupe Hernandez, who is Bridgeman's brother.
According to a 2011 Glenpool police affidavit, Bridgeman said he was trying to "potty train" Adriana and that she was not following directions, and he became angry.
Bridgeman indicated that he hit the child about the face and body, picked her up and threw her across the room onto a bed several times and then picked her up and threw her to the floor, according to the affidavit by Detective Tracey Powell.
Bridgeman and Najar are both in the Tulsa Jail. His formal sentencing is set for Thursday.
Original Print Headline: Abuse killing draws life term
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
David Eugene Bridgeman: He told authorities in May 2011 that he became angry with the toddler and hit her about the face and body, picked her up and threw her across the room onto a bed several times and then picked her up again and threw her to the floor. At this week's trial, he maintained that he had lied in that statement