Parents of dead Oklahoma City baby charged with child neglect

Prosecutors Wednesday filed a child neglect charge against the Oklahoma City 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.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Modified: September 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm •  Published: September 28, 2011
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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.


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