SANTA ANA (CBS) — A Santa Ana man was convicted Thursday of killing his girlfriend’s 9-month-old son while babysitting the infant.
Alexander Lucas Barnes of Santa Ana was convicted of second-degree murder and felony child abuse resulting in death. The eight-man, four-woman jury spent nearly four days deliberating before reaching the verdicts.
“On any baby killing case, everyone wants to get it right, and that’s what they did,” Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy said.
Barnes, who is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 13, faces 25 years to life in prison.
“I’m disappointed,” said Barnes’ attorney, Deputy Public Defender Bryan Harris, who added he thought his client had a chance for acquittal given the time the jury was out.
McGreevy’s case relied largely on circumstantial evidence since no one witnessed the abuse that led to the injuries that killed Isaiah Prim-Ortiz on Oct. 6, 2009.
McGreevy told jurors that the defendant berated the infant when he cried.
“He would say, `Stop crying. Don’t be a (sissy). Man up,’ ” McGreevy told jurors at the trial’s onset.
On the day the baby died, the infant’s mother, Nancy Prim, had to go to class at a nearby community college, so she asked her boyfriend’s mother, Devonna Law, to pick up the baby and look after him, McGreevy said.
Law also picked up Prim’s 12-year-old sister, Tyler Anderson, who went home early from school with a headache, and had her son helping her look after the girl, Isaiah and the baby’s 15-month-old brother in Law’s two-bedroom apartment at 31 E. MacArthur Blvd., McGreevy said.
Isaiah “was a happy, playful baby,” and Barnes enjoyed frolicking with him, McGreevy said. But the defendant would get angry when the baby cried, the prosecutor said.
Isaiah “started to cry a lot” at lunch, prompting Barnes to shout “Shut up!” at the baby, McGreevy said.
Barnes took the baby out to the apartment walkway for 10 to 15 minutes and when he returned, the child was not crying, McGreevy said.
Barnes put the baby in his crib about 1 p.m. Later, Tyler went into the room to put the other baby on a bed and it appeared Isaiah was sleeping, McGreevy said.
About 15 minutes later, Law went to check on Isaiah, “who was blue and cold,” so she called 911, the prosecutor said.
Isaiah was pronounced dead at 4:07 p.m. at a hospital, McGreevy said. An autopsy showed the baby suffered multiple “linear fractures” on the right side of his skull and a 4 1/2-inch fracture on the left side of his head, McGreevy said.
Barnes told Prim to tell police that her son hit his head on the car, according to McGreevy, who said the defendant was jealous of Isaiah’s father and feared he would reunite with Prim.
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