BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Beant Dhillon's daughter said that although her cousin Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann had pushed a sexual relationship on her — she loved him. All that changed after finding out he lied to her about their son.
The trial for a woman accused of drowning a baby boy just moments after her own 15-year-old daughter gave birth to him is underway.
On Tuesday, attorneys on both sides continued to question Dhillon's daughter as she described how a sexual relationship with her older cousin led to the death of their infant son.
Dhillon is facing charges of murder and willful cruelty to a child after prosecutors said she drowned the infant. Mann and Dhillon's husband, Jagsir Singh, helped bury the baby in the backyard of the Southwest Bakersfield home.
The daughter testified Tuesday, describing how her father was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive to her and how her older cousin, whom she called brother, pushed her into a sexual relationship even though she knew it was inappropriate. She said that eventually she got used to it because Mann was the only way she could get out of the house and away from her parents.
She testified that her father was abusive towards her throughout her childhood, saying that when they moved from New York to California in 2016, the physical abuse stopped but the emotional and verbal abuse continued.
After giving birth in a bathtub at the family’s home in November of 2018, the daughter testified that Mann told her the baby had been given up for adoption, but three months later her father revealed, in a fit of anger, that the baby was buried in the backyard.
The defense attempting to throw suspicion on the events of that evening asked the daughter if she ever suspected that it was in fact Mann who killed the infant, not her mother. The daughter testified that at some point she did suspect that, but the judge ordered the jury to disregard that testimony after the prosecution objected that it was speculative.
Also taking the stand Tuesday was Dhillon’s 15-year-old son, who testified that he was home the night his sister gave birth but fainted when he saw the blood in the bathroom. He said that while he was dizzy he could hear what he believed to be a baby crying in the house.
The son also testified to their father's abuse, but his recollection of abuse was not quite the same. He testified that his father often hit them back in New York, especially
when he was drunk.
Their father and Dhillon's husband, Jagsir Singh, died last year due to apparent suicide just days after being released from police custody.
The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.
Mann is still on the run wanted for felony accessory to murder. He was reportedly in the country illegally and cut his GPS monitoring device in February 2019.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call police at (661) 327-7111.