Prude Death Investigation

Prosecution rests case in Erica Bell trial

Local News

An acquaintance who was one of the last people to see Brook Stagles alive took the stand on Friday at the Erica Bell trial.

The acquaintance testified that she sat with Bell and Brook at a baby shower in November. She said Brook laid her head on the table for most of the party and did not eat. 

She said Bell explained that Brook was getting over an illness, and that she noticed the bruising on Brook. 

According to the acquaintance, Bell said it was from hitting her head on a faucet.

Police also testified on Friday, saying Bell was arrested at the baby shower after receiving an anonymous tip that a warrant suspect was there. 

The court listened to a call between Erica Bell and Brook’s father Michael Stagles. Michael talks about how sick Brook was at the party, but most of their call is Erica insisting she needs to get things right this time in jail and she wants him to write to her and visit her in jail. 

Brook was hospitalized the day after the shower. After being taken to Rochester General Hospital, she was transferred to Strong Memorial Hospital. The pediatric trauma specialist who performed her surgery testified on her injuries, saying she almost died on the table. Brook was stabilized and died in the ICU.

Bell is accused of beating 3-year-old Brook Stagles to death. 

During the trial, the prosecution also shared images of the home Brook was living in prior to her death. The RPD investigator, Kirk Pero, who was the prosecution’s last witness, described the home covered in soiled clothes and bugs.

The trial will continue on Tuesday, 9/19.

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