Custodial dad NATHANIEL ROBINSON has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and felony abuse of a child in the beating death of his 3-year-old son. Note that Dad gained custody only 1 MONTH before this child was murdered.
Even the second wife was alarmed by Dad's mistreatment of this child (which was basically torture), and urged him to send the child back to his mother. You almost never hear of a second wife saying this, so that's pretty astonishing in and of itself.
Making the situation even worse: Daddy was the "stay-at-home parent" (e.g. unemployed abuser) while the second wife worked.
Who the hell made the decision that this child should live with Dad? And why? Let's see the names!
St. Louis man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in beating death of 3-year-old
By Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Nine-year-old Nathaniel "Nate" Robinson Jr. said he woke that day to the sound of his little brother screaming.
Nate told a St. Louis jury last week he knew his brother, Desmon Valenzuela, was getting a "whooping" with a belt.
"He was crying really loud," the boy said on the witness stand. Now, Nate explained, his brother is "in heaven."
On his way out of the courtroom Thursday, Nate smiled and waved at his father, Nathaniel Robinson, 31, sitting at the defense table, accused of beating to death the 3-year-old in 2007.
On Monday, Robinson was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and felony abuse of a child.
Doctors testified that Desmon died after he was violently shaken and suffered serious blows to the head. Death investigators found new and old bruising on his face, ears, head, back, shoulders, arms, genitals, legs and hands.
"That is nothing more than torture," said Prosecutor Jeff Coleman during his closing argument Monday. "That's the kind of punishment that he gave to his own 3-year-old child."
He faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced March 19.
Nathaniel Robinson denied beating his son. He testified that the boy fell while playing on a slide and then fell again on the kitchen floor the next day when he suffered a seizure at home.
His mother, Maria Valenzuela, told jurors that the boy was healthy when he went to live with Robinson and his family about a month before he died.
Leona Robinson, the defendant's wife, told the jury that her husband treated Desmon differently from their other children. She testified that Nathaniel Robinson got "furious" when the boy wet his bed. She said she once saw him hold Desmon upside down by his leg to give him spankings.
Leona said she urged her husband to send the boy back to live with his mother.
Nathaniel Robinson often watched his children while his wife worked. Nate said his father usually disciplined the boys with spankings to the behind with either his hand or a belt. He told jurors that he saw his father sometimes pick up Desmon and shake him.
On July 4 that year, paramedics responded to a report of a seizure at the family home in the 6000 block of Michigan Avenue.
Desmon went to the hospital in an ambulance. Nathaniel Robinson stayed at home with his three other children. Once his wife got home from work, he told her about Desmon and then departed for the hospital. That's when police arrested him. Desmon died the next day at the hospital.