The dad is HENRY MORALES.
Father to serve 20 years in baby's death
By: Amanda Stewart
Published: November 10, 2011
Updated: November 10, 2011 - 2:19 PM
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. --
A Manassas-area man was sentenced Thursday to serve 20 years in prison for the death of his 3-month-old son.
At a trial in July in Prince William Circuit Court, substitute Judge Gaylord Finch found 26-year-old Henry Morales guilty of felony murder for the death of his infant son, Dominic.
Thursday Finch sentenced Morales to 40 years in prison, with 20 of those years suspended, followed by three years of probation.
According to court documents, Morales told police that he was walking down the steps at his house in the 10800 block of Daisy Court on Oct. 17, 2010, carrying Dominic, when he tripped and fell down the stairs, dropping the baby and landing on top of him.
Morales told police that then called his wife, who told him to call 911.
Dominic was taken to an area hospital, where he died of his injuries several weeks later.
Investigators said that Dominic’s injuries did not appear to be accidental and Morales was charged in the death.
During the trial, Dr. William Hauda, a child abuse expert, testified that Dominic had several new and old injuries, including old rib fractures and head injuries, which Hauda said did not appear to be accidental and demonstrated a pattern of child abuse.
Morales has maintained that he did not injure the baby intentionally.
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, friends and relatives testified that Morales was a good father who loved Dominic and his other, older son.
“I know what the evidence is, but I know Henry,” Morales’ friend, Ronny Castro testified.
Defense attorney Anne Godson asked the judge to consider a lower sentence.
“The loss of a child alone is a life sentence,” she said.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney James Willett asked the judge to sentence Morales to 40 years in prison, the maximum punishment for felony murder.
“If this case doesn’t call for the maximum, it’s hard to think of one that does,” Willett said.
Willett also asked the judge to consider Dominic when imposing the sentence.
“Dominic lived for ninety days,” Willett said. “His life was snuffed out before it had a chance to bloom.”
The judge said Morales’ case was a difficult one, but he found the doctor’s testimony more credible than Morales’ testimony.
“With the history of injuries, it didn’t happen just once,” Jackson said. “It was not an accident.”
Morales also testified during the hearing, saying he was sorry for what happened.
“I wish I could change my life so he could be alive and I could be dead for him,” Morales said.
Morales maintained that he told the truth when he told investigators what happened.
“I give everything to God because he knows the truth,” Morales said.
Morales, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, is also being held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.