PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 23-year-old man was sentenced to two decades in prison after he pleaded guilty to abusing his 16-month-old son several times leading up to his death.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Eric Valencia was convicted of manslaughter and criminal mistreatment.
In October 2017, the baby, Colin Valencia, was found unresponsive in his crib, and medics arrived and found he had died.
About six months after the death, Hillsboro police reopened the investigation after the Oregon Department of Human Services got a report of child abuse related to the death. Valencia’s therapist reported that during a counseling session, Valencia had admitted to acts of abuse and assault against the child before he died.
Valencia told police that he placed his hand on the baby’s mouth and nose for 30 to 40 seconds on the night he died because the baby wouldn’t stop crying. But he insisted the baby was still alive when he removed his hand.
Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton said Valencia only started seeing the therapist after his son died.
Valencia initially pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which included murder, aggravated murder, murder by abuse, strangulation, two counts of assault and two counts of criminal mistreatment. On Dec. 20, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and criminal mistreatment, and the remaining charges were dismissed.