Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dad gets 5 years in prison for death of 5-month-old son (Lake Worth, Florida)

All kinds of excuses for an (apparently) unemployed/underemployed father doing infant care while Mom worked. Poor thing was all "frustrated" don't you know. And even then couldn't bother to get medical help. As so often happens, it's Mom who has to deal with a medical emergency AFTER she gets home from work.

Dad is identified as SANTOS ADAMES.


Dad sentenced to 5 years in shaken baby death

Santos Adames, 31, pleaded guilty Friday in the April 30, 2013 death of the Lake Worth-area man's 5-month old son, Ariel. He was sentenced to 5 years prison and 10 years probation.

By Marc Freeman Sun Sentinel July 17, 2015, 12:37 PM

A Lake Worth-area man once charged with murder in the death of his 5-month-old son is heading to prison for five years.

Santos Adames, 31, pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter, and listened as a prosecutor told the court he shook the baby left in his care in April 2013.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley sentenced Adames to serve 10 years probation on top of the prison time, but he can apply to end the probation after five years if there have been no new crimes or violations.

"My client is very distraught and remorseful," defense attorney Brian Balaguera told reporters, following a hearing attended by several of Adames' loved ones. "This is essentially the worse day of his life. This has been a nightmare for him for the last few years … just a tragedy."

Prosecutor Lauren Godden said her office dropped a child abuse charge as part of a plea deal. Other terms require Adames, after leaving prison, to complete 100 hours of community service and speak twice a year to groups about his experience.

"He'll explain how the loss has affected him with the hopes of it preventing other people from taking out their same frustration in the same manner," Godden said.

Also while on probation, Adames is forbidden from drinking alcohol or using drugs without a prescription, and he'll be subjected to random drug testing at his expense. And he'll have to enroll and complete parenting classes.

His sister, Charlyn Adames, sat with her family in court and later called her brother a wonderful dad and the baby Ariel's death an accident.

"He is the best, most caring father who suffered more then anyone knowing that this happened under his care," Adames told the Sun Sentinel. "It kills him every day, but it was a mistake."

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, so any probation violations could subject Adames to more time behind bars.

Following an initial first-degree murder charge, on May 30, 2013, a Palm Beach County grand jury indicted Adames on one count each of aggravated manslaughter of a child and aggravated child abuse. Both are first-degree felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

But the defense then said it wasn't clear from the evidence that Adames had intentionally hurt the boy.

Adames' wife supported her husband throughout his criminal prosecution, and the couple celebrated the arrival of a baby daughter last year. Before Friday, the defendant was free on $20,000 bail awaiting resolution of the case and was allowed to work to support himself and his family. Still, Kelley forbid him from having contact with his two older daughters from another relationship. He wasn't allowed to be around any other kids unless another adult was around. But Adames, with his wife's blessing, was permitted last summer to hold his newborn child — with medical professionals standing by in the delivery room.

According to an arrest report, Yasika Adames returned home from work late on April 23, 2013 and noticed her son "making strange movements and moans." She could not wake him, and dialed 911. The baby entered Palms West Hospital with bleeding in his brain.

Two days later, reports from doctors at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach were grim: Ariel had "massive brain damage" and "massive retinal hemorrhages in both eyes" that typically result from severe shaking.

Told of the baby's condition, Adames admitted to a detective he shook the baby twice out of frustration.

"He admitted to the violent shaking of his son," Godden said, adding Adames demonstrated his actions for investigators on a video filed as evidence in the case.

The pest control technician from the Dominican Republic also said at the time he accidentally dropped Ariel on his head in the tub.

The baby died April 30.

While his court case was pending, Adames' attorneys and the State Attorney's Office agreed to the low bail.

The terms were based in part on Adames' having no prior felony arrests, residency in the county for more than 20 years, and numerous relatives in the area, including his parents, siblings and cousins.

At the time, Adames' then-lawyer, Joe Walsh, called it a case of "one of those things where bad things happen to good people."