Father Pleads To Child Abuse

Man who injured baby’s skull gets 3.5 years in prison

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A man who nearly killed his infant son was sentenced Tues­day to 3.5 years in prison.

When paramedics arrived at Jacob Morales’ home on May 25 they found his 12-week-old son in critical condition with a displaced skull fracture. Morales meanwhile had fled.

His wife told officers the couple had gotten into an argument earlier at Walmart. When they got home, in the 1100 block of William Tell Circle, she laid their baby in his crib and stepped outside to cool down and call her mother, according to a police report.

“Twenty minutes later, she heard the child screaming and when she went back inside and picked the child up, she noticed that the child was choking and had a head injury,” said Shawn Fuller, chief deputy county attorney, who prosecuted the case.

When she confronted Morales, he denied any wrongdoing and fled.

Officers searched for Morales for hours while doctors worked to stabilize the boy, who was airlifted to the Valley in critical condition.

Detectives learned Morales had previously been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and he was attending anger management classes at Southwest Behavioral. He was also on probation for a separate offense in Mesa.

The woman said she had left Morales before, but felt pressured to return to him, according to police reports.

Through text messaging, Det. Matt Van Camp convinced Morales to turn himself in the next morning.

Morales pleaded guilty to child abuse on Dec. 12.

Fuller argued for five years in prison given the age of the child, his injuries and Morales criminal record.

Judge Robert Duber II, with Gila County Superior Court, sentenced Morales to 3.5 years.

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