Father of boy accused of killing his baby half-sister speaks out

Byron Rivera, 35, is the biological father of Crystian Rivera, a 13-year-old Oklahoma City boy accused of killing his baby half-sister by shaking her. Byron Rivera said he was devastated to hear about his son's arrest and is seeking legal advice to help him.
BY TIFFANY GIBSON tgibson@opubco.com Published: August 26, 2011

Byron Rivera said he was in Guatemala when a public notice for the divorce petition was published in a classified advertisement. His former wife's attorney, Kristie Scivally, said a judge approved the divorce conditions sought by her client because Byron Rivera was not in Oklahoma for the hearing.

Byron Rivera said he returned to the United States in 2005 and settled in Texas, but was not able to see his son until that day in the restaurant in 2007. He still carries a photo Crystian gave him, showing the boy at age 7.

Fighting for freedom

Byron Rivera said he moved to Oklahoma in late 2010 and began taking classes at Oklahoma City Community College earlier this year to better understand English and his son's culture.

He said he's been looking for Crystian since he moved to the city. He said he plans to speak to an attorney and find a way to help his son.

Police said Crystian's mother told them her daughter fell off a bed and also had fallen from the passenger seat of their vehicle to the floorboard a few days before, but the mother was not present either time.

Medical officials said the baby's injuries were inconsistent with an accidental fall.

Jail visitation

Byron Rivera said he's looking forward to seeing his son but was told the earliest opportunity for a jail visit would be next week.

Oklahoma County jail administrator Maj. Jack Herron said each inmate is permitted one visit per week with up to five people at one time. Byron Rivera said he plans to write to his son until he can visit him.

“This is like a nightmare,” he said. “I have the capacity to help him. I can tell you, he needs to just have a new beginning. My goal is to visit him, stay with him and support him.”

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