Dad ALEX BAEZA: GUILTY AS CHARGED.
Next on the agenda: Get San Bernadino Family Court Judge John M. Pacheco off the bench.
Dad guilty in son's murder
01:00 PM PDT on Thursday, September 1, 2011
BY JOHN ASBURY
A Moreno Valley man was found guilty this morning of second-degree murder in the death of his 2-year-old-son.
Alex Baeza, 27, sobbed at the counsel table and had to be admonished by deputies as the verdict was read. His family members had to be escorted out of the courtroom while crying uncontrollably.
Isaac's mother Andrea Gallegos wiped away tears as she celebrated in the courtroom with her family. Isaac's grandfather shouted,"Yes, justice for Isaac."
Following the verdict, Baeza muttered to himself and wept as he was handcuffed and shackled.
"Murder? Murder?," he cried. "There's no way I killed my son. No way in God."
Baeza was convicted of two felonies, second-degree murder and assault on a child for the April 10, 2010 death of Isaac Gallegos. Isaac was not breathing and found with a brain hemorrhage when he arrived at the hospital, after spending the day in his father's care.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding him guilty. Prosecutors said Isaac may have died from violent shaking or being slammed down. Medical experts said the injuries were consistent with a car accident.
Baeza's defense attorney argued that doctors did not know what caused the accident and the first doctor to examine him indicated there might be a previous injury.
During the trial, authorities laid out a history of abuse allegations by Isaac's mother. Photographs showed bruising, but a police report and Social Services investigation was inconclusive.
Two years ago, San Bernardino County Judge John M. Pacheco threatened to take custody away from the boy's mother, telling her she was overreacting and she would lose Isaac if she continued to make abuse allegations against Baeza.
Isaac's grandfather, Mike Leach, said he would file a formal complaint for Pacheco to be removed from the bench.