The Jackson man charged with murdering his 3-year-old daughter will go to trial.
Jackson County District Judge Joseph Filip ordered Paul Brower to stand trial in the death of Victoria Brower after a preliminary hearing Thursday.
Trina Brower, Paul Brower's wife and Victoria's stepmother, testified that the day before the girl died, Paul Brower hit Victoria in the head and slapped her in the face so hard she fell down.
Victoria had been making holes in the walls of the family home and that upset Paul Brower, Trina Brower testified.
Later that night, she told the court, her husband put the girl to bed early and said he was reading her a story, something she says he did not often do.
Paul Brower's defense attorney raised questions about Trina Brower's credibility, pointing out that the woman had spent time in a mental hospital in the recent past.
Attorney Bruce Barton also asked Trina Brower whether she put Victoria to bed along with her husband. Trina Brower testified that she remained on the first floor of the home watching television while her husband put the child to bed.
Barton also pointed out that Trina Brower initially told police Paul Brower put Victoria to bed around 9 p.m., her usual bedtime. Trina Brower reaffirmed her statement that Victoria was put to bed early that night.
Prosecutors believe Paul Brower killed his daughter by suffocating her sometime after they say he disciplined her in their home in the 400 block of W. Biddle Street.
A forensic pathologist testified in court Thursday that he believes Victoria's death was indeed caused by suffocation. He said it was clearly not accidental.
After the testimony, Filip ruled there was probable cause to proceed with a trial. Brower is charged with premeditated murder, felony murder and first-degree child abuse.
Some of Victoria's other relatives were in court Thursday. The girl's maternal grandmother, Rita Jewell, says she wonders if there can ever be real justice served. Real justice, she says, would mean Victoria was still alive.
Jewell says she believed abuse was occuring in the Brower home and that authorities refused to do anything about it.
Paul Brower is set to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court August 21.