Boy was struck hundreds of times, doctor says
By Claire Osborn
American-Statesman, December 9, 2003

Bible student's wounds appeared to come from one beating, pediatrician testifies.

A boy beaten by a pastor was struck hundreds of times with a tree branch in a single beating, causing him to be in danger of kidney failure, a doctor testified Monday.

"He had quarter-inch-size holes all over his back," said Renee Jambowski, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital. Louie Guerrero's injuries left him unable to move for 24 hours after the beating, she testified.

Louie, 12, testified last week that Joshua Thompson beat him 100 times with two tree branches after Louie disrupted a Bible class on July 3, 2002. Thompson was a pastor for a Spanish-speaking congregation that met at Capitol City Baptist Church in South Austin.

He and his twin brother, 23-year-old Caleb Thompson, are charged with injury to a child and aggravated assault in connection with the beating. Louie testified that Caleb

Thompson held him down during the beating at Caleb's house.

The boy, who spent five days in intensive care, lost a lot of blood and had trouble breathing, Jambowski testified.

The beating left him with hundreds of small straight lines on his back and rear end. All of the blows appeared to be inflicted at the same time, she said.

Defense lawyers, who acknowledge that Joshua Thompson beat the child, have suggested that some of the boy's injuries were inflicted by his parents.

"There was mistaken judgment by not just one or two or three parties, but by many," said Carlos Garcia, the lawyer for Caleb Thompson.

Garcia made his opening statement for Caleb Thompson after the prosecution rested its case on Monday afternoon.

"The evidence will show that on July 2nd or July 3rd, the Arellanos did give permission to discipline the boy," Garcia said, referring to the boys' parents.

Genevevo and Norma Arellano have repeatedly denied in court that they gave the Thompsons permission to discipline their son.

Two teachers at the church said Louie did not seem to be in pain when he arrived for Bible class that morning before the beating.

Those same teachers testified Monday night that Louie could not always be trusted to tell the truth and that he often picked fights with the other students.

He was suspended from the school in February 2002 for cheating, lying and turning in incomplete assignments, said teacher Rhonda Lewis.

On the day of the beating, he refused to cooperate with the preparation for a Bible competition, teacher Adam Simpson testified.

Two months before the beating, a member of the church said, Louie's stepfather, Genevevo Arrellano, told him that he had given Joshua Thompson permission to discipline the boy.

Arellano "said it was very diffucult for him to control his son," Gilmar Hernandez said.; 445-3871

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