We first reported on this case last summer. At that time, the media (reluctantly?) revealed that dad CARLOS RICO had custody of this boy. Why a father who has been now deemed officially "not guilty by reason of insanity" had custody to begin with has not been explained, at least as far as I can tell. But then the media seldom does explain these things.
Man Who Dumped Son On Texas Interstate Acquitted For Insanity
A man who abandoned his 4-year-old son along a rural stretch of Texas interstate has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
SWEETWATER (February 28, 2012)--A judge has found a West Texas man accused of abandoning his 4-year-old son along Interstate 20 near Sweetwater in June has been found not guilty of capital murder by reason of insanity.
State District Judge Glen Harrison ordered Carlos Rico to be committed to the maximum-security North Texas State Hospital in Vernon for examination.
In 30 days, Rico will be returned to Harrison's Nolan County courtroom for assessment of his mental progress.
At that time, the judge will decide whether to keep Rico hospitalized.
A passing motorist found Rico's son at around 3 a.m. on June 28 along Interstate 20 near Sweetwater.
Rico was accused of choking the boy and dumping him on the road.
Police said the boy was picked up by a local high school basketball coach and taken to a hospital, where doctors removed at least 500 cactus spines from his body.
He was released from the hospital and was placed into foster care.
Rico was driving from Lubbock to Saginaw when he abandoned his son, and was later taken into custody by police in the Fort Worth suburb.
Rico's cousin called police after Rico showed up to see him without his son, and investigators determined that Rico was the boy's father, he said.
Al Hunt, the Sweetwater High coach who found the boy, said he initially thought he was looking at a guardrail post until it moved.
"It took me seconds to realize, `it's a little kid there,"' the 54-year-old said.
He said he pulled over and, not seeing a vehicle that the child might have been in, ran across the road and scooped the boy into his arms.
He said the boy's lips were cracked as if he were dehydrated, and that the only response the boy was able to give to his questions was to hold up four fingers when Hunt asked his age.