Dad JOEL CHAVEZ couldn't even control his "frustration" long enough for the baby's mom to go to the dentist....
Article updated: 6/13/2011 6:12 PM
Aurora father gets 28 years for infant’s death
By Josh Stockinger
An Aurora man was sentenced Monday to 28 years in prison for throwing and shaking his infant daughter to death after she became fussy with a bottle.
Joel Chavez, 28, had faced up to 60 years after being convicted in March of the first-degree murder and aggravated battery of 5-month-old Julyssa Chavez.
Authorities said the child suffered 27 broken bones and three skull fractures on Jan. 12, 2009, when she was shaken and thrown onto a bed by her father after she refused a bottle and began to cry. She died of multiple injuries the following day.
On Monday, prosecutors sought a term of 50 years for Chavez, describing him as an angry, self-centered father who “hurts those closest to him.”
Defense attorney Steve Muslin countered that his client never had any intent to kill his daughter, but rather suffered a tragic “momentary lapse in judgment.”
DuPage County Judge George Bakalis said that although Chavez may not have wanted to kill the child, he should have known his actions were potentially fatal to an infant.
“It’s common knowledge you can’t take a young baby and violently shake a young baby,” he said.
Julyssa’s mother, Lupe Chavez, testified at trial that her daughter was fine when she left the child alone with the defendant to take her 14-year-old son to a dentist appointment.
She called 911 after receiving several phone calls from Chavez, who told her there was something wrong with the baby. Paramedics arrived to find the child unresponsive and barely breathing.
“I know no one will ever bring Julyssa back to me,” Lupe Chavez said in a victim-impact statement Monday. “I should have been able to rely on my husband in this loss. But I lost him too.”
In his own statement Monday, Chavez apologized for the death of his daughter but maintained he never intended to hurt her.
“She knows and God knows I did not want to do the harm I’m accused of,” he said through a Spanish interpreter. “I recognize I made a mistake. I ask for forgiveness.”
By law, Chavez must serve the full 28 years. He was given credit for more than two years already served in the county jail.