Friday, January 31, 2014

"Stay-at-home" dad found guilty of murder in death of 4-month-old daughter (Orlando, Florida)

Yet another "stay-at-home" dad who bashed the baby. This one succeeded in killing her. Too often these guys become "stay-at-home" dads because they are unwilling/unable to get a job--sometimes because of a past criminal record. So desperate working mothers put them in charge of infant care. Not a good idea. It's too bad we don't have paid maternity leave in this country, and way to get violent moochers like this one into the labor force and away from young kids.

Dad is identified as LUIS OMAR RIVERA.,0,2602881.story

Father guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse in daughter's death

By Desiree Stennett, Orlando Sentinel
6:23 p.m. EST, January 30, 2014

A stay-at-home father left to care for his 4-month-old daughter the day she died is responsible for the "catastrophic" injuries that killed the little girl about three years ago, a jury decided Thursday afternoon.

Luis Omar Rivera, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse charges after his infant daughter Jaliya Rivera died of blunt-force head trauma which caused multiple skull fractures in November 2010.

Jaliya's mother, Sadie Diaz, and her family sobbed silently as the verdict was read.

"I died on November 19, 2010," Diaz said to Rivera before he was sentenced to life in prison for his daughter's death. "You were a heartless monster who couldn't just love your own daughter. My heart is completely broken."

According to prosecutor Pam Davis, Jaliya was a "bubbly" baby who was still too young to roll over on her own. Rivera cared for the child while his wife worked.

Every morning the couple would wake up about 6:30 a.m. so Diaz could prepare for work and Rivera could feed their daughter. That's how the day started on Nov.18, 2010.

When he was interviewed by police, Rivera said he fed his daughter early that morning then went back to bed. When he woke up a short time later to change the little girl's diaper, that's when he realized his daughter wasn't breathing.

Rivera told police he called his mother instead of 911 because he didn't have the money to pay for an expensive ambulance. His daughter spent the night in the hospital and was pronounced dead the next day.

Since that day, Rivera has maintained that he was not responsible for his daughter's severe injuries.

Rivera's attorney, Gerod Hooper, called the police work that let to Rivera's arrest a "make-it-fit" investigation.

"The facts don't fit, so you make it fit," he said to the jury during his closing statement.

Although he agreed with doctors who said Jaliya's wounds were not accidental, he said there was no way to know for sure if Rivera was responsible for inflicting them or if she died from injuries that were inflicted on Nov. 18 or another day when someone else was caring for the infant.

But after 5 hours of deliberation, those seeds of doubt did not resonate with the jury. Rivera said nothing as his sentence was handed down.