A Kennewick boy had 2 brain injuries before age 3 His father

first_imgNicholas Torres was just 2 months old when he was treated in Spokane for a brain injury.The baby’s wounds healed and he eventually was given back to his parents.But 18 months later, he was back in the same hospital — with the same injuries.This time, Nicholas didn’t go home.Thursday, three years after the toddler died, Mario Torres took responsibility for the repeated abuse that killed his son.Torres, 35, was watching his son in December 2015 shortly before the boy became lethargic and somewhat unresponsive. He claimed the toddler accidentally hit his head on a bed frame.Nicholas died four days later.A medical examiner ruled it a homicide from ongoing abuse resulting in extensive brain trauma.Torres pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree manslaughter, along with the aggravating circumstances of victim vulnerability and domestic violence.He’s already served nine months in the Yakima County jail for the earlier abuse after investigators re-opened the 2012 case after Nicholas died.The father also has served six months in the Benton County jail for encouraging an older son to “just make up lies” when investigators asked him what happened the day before Nicholas was hospitalized.Nicholas was living with his mother in a Kennewick apartment at the time.Now, Torres is facing a recommended 10-year prison sentence, though Judge Alex Ekstrom could order up to 13 years and two months. Sentencing is March 16.After Thursday’s hearing, Prosecutor Andy Miller and Deputy Prosecutor Emily Sullivan explained how “extremely difficult” it is to prove abusive head trauma cases.Typically, the person who causes the injury is with the child when they go into a seizure. But that didn’t happen in this case since hours passed before Nicholas was taken to the hospital to get checked, Miller said.last_img

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