Twenty-eight-year-old Chinese immigrant Li Hangbin is facing a second-degree murder charge for the death of his 2-year-old daughter Annie. The father has been awaiting trial for five years in jail. Initial court proceedings depict him both as an abusive monster and distressed father helping his ailing child. And yesterday, Katie Holmes just decided to pop by.
The New York Times reports that trial has two very distinct depictions of Mr. Hangbin going on so far:
On the night of Oct. 22, 2007, he said, Annie had a heart attack. As Mr. Li rushed to revive her, his lawyer said, he inadvertently bumped her against a table. All of these factors contributed to her falling unconscious and eventually dying, Mr. [Cedric Ashley] said.
But the prosecutor, Leigh Bishop, presented jurors with a different chain of events, one in which Mr. Li inflicted horrific injuries upon Annie, causing her death by shaken-baby syndrome, which occurs when a baby is repeatedly and violently shaken, causing brain damage.
Charges against Annie’s 27-year-old mother, Li Ying, have been dropped. But between observing court room dialogue, the reporter noticed something else:
There was also an unusual celebrity appearance by the actress Katie Holmes. Her publicist said Ms. Holmes knew the prosecutor and was there to watch her.
Gossip Cop reports that Katie Holmes is indeed chummy with the prosecutor trying to convince the jury that Annie died from shaken-baby syndrome at the hands of her father. Katie’s cause for schlepping out to the State Supreme Court in Queens reportedly has nothing to do with gawking, but rather “to support” her friend.
Suri Cruise‘s mom apparently listened to the opening of the case “quietly in the back” before leaving the courtroom. No autographs at the trial for the death of baby, thankfully.
(photo: Dan Jackman/WENN.com)