Court Records Released In 3-Year-Old's Death

Records Show Pattern Of Abuse

New information is being made public on the events leading up to the death of a 3-year-old Taft girl.

Newly released court records show there was a pattern of abuse in the home before Trinity Hanna was killed.

23ABC continues to investigate whether Trinity's death could have been prevented.

The court reports show that Trinity never had any serious medical problems until Eric Foster, the man accused in her death, moved in with her and her mom.

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  • Then, officials said, she suffered three serious injuries in less than a month, including the one that doctors said cost her her life.

    Trinity died last Tuesday after being taken to the hospital. The coroner said the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head and abdomen.

    Deputies said Foster confessed to inflicting the fatal injuries on Trinity.

    Court documents in the case show there had been questions about two earlier injuries and even a Child Protective Services investigation after Foster said he scalded Trinity in the shower and she suffered second-degree burns.

    Foster told investigators he had even been investigated once before by CPS in another case with another child. In that case, Foster said he was accused of throwing a 3-year-old across the room.

    Foster told deputies nothing ever came from that investigation.

    When Trinity was taken to San Joaquin Community Hospital for her burns in early January, Foster said he thought of his previous case and asked Trinity's mom, Angela Hanna, not to mention his name to CPS investigators.

    Court documents indicate Angela Hanna did not tell Kern County CPS investigators about the other case, but it’s not clear whether CPS investigators made the connection on their own.

    CPS said it is standard for them to investigate all adults in the home after an allegation of abuse, but Foster’s previous allegation may not have appeared when they checked his background if the allegation was not found to be conclusive.

    When Trinity returned from the hospital after the scalding, there were two more incidents.

    Foster told deputies he slammed Trinity down on her bike, injuring her vagina, and he said, he dropped the girl onto an oak coffee table, causing head injuries.

    Foster said he injects meth and he may have blacked out during at least one of the incidents.

    A friend of Angela’s Hanna's, who is also a nurse, saw the burns on Trinity's back and urged Hanna to leave Foster, but neither that nor a CPS investigation was enough to save Trinity’s life.

    23ABC checked with investigators Wednesday. They say while the mother has not been charged in connection with the case they cannot say she won’t be.

    More pieces of the tragic puzzle will be put into place when CPS releases its documents in the case in accordance with the new SB39 law. There is no timeline yet for the release of those documents.

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