Foster father faces July 22 trial in baby's death

Wilson L. "Josh" Tubbs III, 38, a Fort Bragg man accused of beating a 5-month-old baby girl to death in December while she was in his care has been scheduled for a July 22 trial in Mendocino County Superior Court.

Tubbs  the baby's foster father, faces a charge of child abuse resulting in death, which carries the same weight as murder, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

Judge John Behnke ordered Tubbs to be bound over for trial after three hours of testimony from three witnesses, including the child abuse specialist who examined baby Emerald Herriet at Oakland Children's Hospital, who testified that the extent of injury to Emerald's head and brain indicated the baby had been abused over a period of time, with traumatic events appearing to have happened around Nov. 2 and Dec. 1, based on medical records.

Tubbs had on Dec. 2 brought the baby girl, who had months earlier been taken from her mother by county Child Welfare Services, to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital not breathing and blue, and with bruises on her face and head.

The 49 or more bruises found on the baby's head and face during her autopsy, along with two skull fractures, multiple hemorrhages in her retinas and severe subdural hematoma -- the accumulation of blood between the brain's surface and inside of the skull -- could have been several months old, according to testimony from Dr. Rachel Gilgoff, a pediatrician specializing in child abuse. Theinjuries appeared to have been caused by a combination of blunt force trauma and shaking, Gilgoff testified.