Jury finds Oklahoma City man guilty in 3-year-old's death

Freddy Mendez, 26, was convicted of murder and child abuse in connection with the death 3-year-old Alexis Hawkins on Oct. 30, 2011. Mendez was the boyfriend of the girl's mother.
by Matt Dinger Published: October 4, 2013
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A jury Wednesday found an Oklahoma City man guilty in the 2011 child abuse death of a 3-year-old girl.

The jury sentenced Freddy Mendez, 26, to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the first-degree murder charge and gave him a life sentence on the child abuse charge.

Mendez was convicted of fatally injuring 3-year-old Alexis Hawkins at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment.

The girl died of her injuries Oct. 30, 2011, at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.

The girl's mother, Victoria Phanhtharath, testified that Mendez was an abusive and controlling boyfriend who treated her daughter from a previous relationship differently from the son the couple had together.

She told jurors Mendez had hit and kicked her daughter and then picked her up and threw her down before Alexis became violently ill and medical help was sought.

Phanhtharath pleaded guilty in March to enabling child abuse and murder by permitting child abuse. She was given a life sentence with all but the first 35 years suspended.

Medical professionals testified that Alexis' injuries were caused by extreme force and that they could not have occurred accidentally.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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