Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Unemployed "primary caregiver" dad found guilty in 5-month-old daughter's death (Rockland County, New York)

Dad MICHAEL AVILES was another one of those unemployed "primary caretaker" dads who also apparently had a drinking problem (this according to Dad's own attorney). Seems Dad bashed the baby to death while the mom--who did have a job--was sleeping.


Sentencing postponed for Haverstraw dad found guilty in 5-month-old daughter's death
11:30 AM, Apr. 3, 2012

Written by Steve Lieberman

A Rockland County Court judge postponed today’s sentencing of a 42-year-old Haverstraw man convicted of causing the death of his 5-month-old daughter.

Michael Aviles’ sentencing date has been rescheduled for April 24 by County Court Judge William K. Nelson.

Aviles faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison after Nelson found him guilty in January of second-degree manslaughter following a non-jury trial. The prosecution is seeking the maximum sentence. The charges carries a sentencing range of 5 to 15 years.

Nelson cleared Aviles of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder in the death of Michelle Aviles.

Nelson also acquitted the baby’s 23-year-old mother, Lissette Capellan, of murder. She claimed in statements to police that she was asleep in the apartment on Hudson Street that she shared with the baby and Aviles when the child suffered the severe injuries Jan. 16, 2010.

Prosecutors Stephen Moore and Patricia Gunning argued that the parents acted together to kill the baby, with Aviles physically abusing the child and Capellan taking no action to save her baby.

Defense attorney Hollis Griffin argued that Aviles was too drunk on rum to remember what happened that night and there was no direct eyewitness or physical evidence showing the father hurt his daughter.

Being drunk doesn’t excuse one from responsibility but can be viewed as a mitigating cause for one’s actions.

Capellan and Aviles both told police they went to bed between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Jan. 15 and left the other in charge of putting the baby to bed.

At what time they awoke and found the baby unresponsive remained in dispute. Prosecutors said they told authorities it was around 1 a.m., but the parents never called 911 and ended up at Nyack Hospital with the baby at 4:22 a.m.

Neither parent acted aware that the baby had been abused, hospital nurses said.

The baby suffered fractures on both sides of her skull and rib cage, along with bruising across her body and internal bleeding. The bruising was obvious, nurses said.

Capellan later told authorities that Aviles could have awakened her at any time between 1 and 3 a.m. or within 45 minutes of entering the Nyack Hospital emergency room. Her lawyer, David Goldstein, said Aviles told police that Capellan didn’t hurt her child and he might have dropped the baby or harmed her.

One forensic pathologist testified that the baby died within at least an hour of the parents’ bringing her to Nyack Hospital, though emergency personnel managed to revive the child, who died hours later in the children’s hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.

Another pathologist estimated the baby died earlier, between 1 and 2 a.m.

Aviles, a married father of five, was unemployed and the primary caregiver, while Capellan worked in a local nursing home.