Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dad admits to killing 5-month-old son; gets 25 years in prison (Pueblo, Colorado)

Dad is identified as ANTHONY ANGEL.

Father admits to killing infant son


The Pueblo Chieftain Published: November 13, 2013; Last modified: November 13, 2013 05:00AM

Anthony Angel stood before a Pueblo judge and admitted he killed his infant son nearly two years ago. “Before I knew it, Antonio was limp in my arms. I killed my son. I didn’t mean to, but I did it,” Angel, 25, said Tuesday.

But his contrition, along with hours of testimony about Angel’s own troubled childhood, wasn’t enough to convince District Judge William Alexander to give Angel less than the maximum sentence allowed under his plea agreement.

Alexander sentenced Angel to 25 years in prison and gave him credit for the 715 days he was in the custody of the Pueblo County jail.

Angel pleaded guilty to a count of child abuse resulting in death in exchange for the dismissal of first-degree murder charges, an assault case stemming from a fight in jail and a theft case that led up to the death of his son.

Angel admitted that he was frustrated at not being able to cash a check he and the child’s mother, Brandi Strawn, had received for selling gold stolen from a neighbor’s house in November 2011.

When the infant woke crying, he snapped.

Angel apologized to Strawn for the pain he had caused her.

Strawn, whose grief was evident throughout the hearing, also made a statement to the court about her loss.

But much of Tuesday’s hearing was dominated by testimony from Angel’s father, Carlos, who related years of abuse Angel suffered during Carlos’ frequent alcoholic rages.

Carlos Angel admitted he was convicted of sexual battery on a child and served eight years in prison and during that time, his son was adrift.

Public Defender Suzanne Reynolds told the court that Angel was the first client she’d represented who actually admitted to his crime, regardless of the likelihood that such an admission would make him a target in prison.

She also talked about how Angel had found faith and their shared Christianity.

But Alexander told Angel that the 5-month-old boy depended on him “more than anything in the world” and Angel killed him.

“You failed as a father,” Alexander said.