Richard Perez, Jr., convicted of capital murder this week, will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A Hays County jury found Perez, 22, guilty in the death of six-month-old Aiden Skylar Perez. The sentence is automatic upon conviction because the Hays County District Attorney’s Office did not seek the death penalty.
Perez was accused of hitting his girlfriend’s son on the head and trying to blame the resulting injuries on a car accident. The baby died on Jan. 4, 2008. Perez had been in the Hays County Jail since January 2008 with bail set at $500,000.
District Attorney Sherri Tibbe and Family Justice Division Chief Attorney Cathy Compton prosecuted the case.
In a joint statement, Tibbe and Compton said, “Aiden’s death is a reminder to all of us about the importance of reporting any suspicion of child abuse you may have regarding a child. It is our hope that Aiden’s death can have some meaning in that it reminds us of our duty to protect children from perpetrators like Richard Perez. We will never forget Aiden and we are happy that justice prevailed in this case.”
During the trial, which ran June 1-8, jurors heard that the defendant staged an automobile accident and told police conflicting stories about how Aiden was injured during a six-hour interview with Detective Scott Johnson of the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) and Detective Jeri Skrocki of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).
First responders and medical personnel at Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC), testified that Aiden was without a pulse and was limp and cold. Despite their efforts, Aiden was pronounced dead at CTMC. Dr. David Dolinak, the Travis County Medical Examiner, testified that Aiden suffered numerous head injuries, both old and recent.
Dolinak told jurors that Aiden suffered a head injury so severe it was the equivalent of being dropped on his head from a second or third story building. Aiden also had both a healing and new injury to his throat consistent with being grabbed with significant force around his neck.Email | Print