UPDATE: Elizabeth Reta and Juan Antonio Sanchez Jr.
MOTHER, BOYFRIEND SENTENCED TO LONG PRISON TERMS IN DEATH OF ONTARIO INFANT
excerpts of an article from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Authorities said the mother, Elizabeth Reta, swabbed Samuel Reta’s nose with a Q-Tip tainted with methamphetamine. Her boyfriend, Juan Antonio Sanchez, then beat the child to try to get him to come down from the high.
Reta and Sanchez both accepted plea bargains from prosecutors on Friday, Sept. 24 that carry prison sentences of more than a decade.
Reta’s plea bargain carries a sentence of 11 years, said Deputy District Attorney Jason Anderson. The 31-year-old Ontario woman is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21 in West Valley Superior Court.
Sanchez, 35, of Pomona, was sentenced the day of his plea to 27 years in prison. His sentence is longer than Reta’s because he has a prior conviction for robbery, Anderson said.
According to a police report attached to her court file, Reta told authorities that in August 2007, she swabbed her son’s itchy nose with a Q-Tip in their home in the 1500 block of South Euclid Avenue.
When the boy began behaving strangely, Reta told Sanchez, who called the woman “stupid” and told her he uses the Q-Tip to clean his methamphetamine pipe.
For the next four days — before Reta called paramedics Aug. 29 over Sanchez’s objection — Sanchez repeatedly spanked and slapped the boy, threw him onto the floor and tied him to a bed, according to the report.
Reta pleaded with Sanchez to call for paramedics
the day she swabbed her son’s nose, but Sanchez told her not to because he feared police would arrest him on drug charges.
Samuel Reta was in a coma when he was hospitalized. He was suffering from pneumonia, and doctors said he had a broken arm, broken rib, an apparent bite mark on his arm, and injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, according to the report.
Reta and Sanchez were arrested Aug. 30, and Samuel Reta died Aug. 31. of 2007
I’d like to thank jacky for tipping us off to this important development. This update wouldn’t have been possible without her dedication to ensuring we had the “real story”.
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