Prosecutors Wednesday filed a child neglect charge against the parents of the baby who died after being left for hours with her 13-year-old brother.
The girl died after her brother shook and tossed her for interrupting his video game, prosecutors allege.
Carlos Beletzuy-Lopez, 36, and Linda Walleska Beletzuy, 30, of Oklahoma City, were charged in Oklahoma County District Court. They are accused in the felony charge of failing to provide proper supervision and/or an appropriate caretaker for the girl.
The brother, Crystian Rivera, was charged Sept. 2 with first-degree murder. A preliminary hearing in the murder case is set for November.
The baby, Linda Beletzuy, died Aug. 19 from head injuries. She was 9 months old.
Police originally had said the parents did nothing illegal and were not under investigation. The child neglect charge came after prosecutors urged police to focus on the possibility the parents were culpable in the death.
The baby was hurt Aug. 16 at the family's Oklahoma City apartment. A police detective reported the parents went to work Aug. 16. The parents left the baby and their 4-year-old son with Rivera from 10:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 16, the detective reported.
The mother admitted she and her husband left the baby and the 4-year-old boy with Rivera on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the summer while they worked, the detective also reported.
The mother said the 4-year-old boy had been telling her for three to four weeks that the baby “was crying a lot” while in Rivera's care, the detective wrote in a court affidavit.
Rivera told police his sister fell Aug. 16 and started to cry, distracting him from his video game, the detective reported.
The boy “confessed that when his man in the video game was killed he became angry and frustrated,” and he picked his sister up and shook her, the detective reported.
“That is crazy,” the parents' attorney, Joan Lopez, said of the child neglect charge. “There's no evidence that this kid was going to do something like this.”
The defense attorney said both parents worked at a Chili's restaurant. She said they tried to arrange their schedules so one of them would be home with the children but that was not always possible.
“At this point, they've lost all of their children. Obviously, one to death, one is locked up and … one is in DHS custody,” the attorney said.
The maximum punishment for a child neglect conviction is life in prison.