FATHER CONVICTED OF SUFFOCATING & MURDERING 11 MOS SON

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2005
Contact:Mark Macaulay
Media Relations Spokesperson
(714) 347-8405 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell

father convicted of suffocating and murdering

his 11-month-old son to silence him

 

Santa Ana – James Duff, 35, of Anaheim, was convicted by a jury today for murdering his infant son and assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death.  The defendant suffocated the 11-month-old child because he would not stop crying.  Duff faces a sentence of up to 25 years to life in state prison.

 

The defendant was living in Anaheim with the baby, the mother of his child, and her parents.  At approximately 12:30 a.m. on July, 3, 2004, a 911 dispatcher received a call from Duff who said his son had stopped breathing.  When paramedics arrived at the residence, the child was unresponsive.  The child was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange where he was pronounced dead. 

 

The evidence introduced by the prosecution during trial proved that Duff suffocated the child by holding his hands over his son’s mouth and nose for approximately 20 minutes.  The child vomited, which is common during suffocation, but never regained consciousness.  Duff changed the baby’s clothes, threw the soiled clothes in the trash, and claimed that the baby fell.  He called his girlfriend and told her that he had dropped the baby on the floor and that the child was not breathing.  He also told paramedics the same story when they arrived on the scene.  Later, at the Anaheim Police Department, the defendant changed his story and admitted to suffocating the child to stop him from crying.  Autopsy results revealed bruises on the baby’s face consistent with manual suffocation.

 

“The defendant showed little interest in the development of his infant child. This lack of bonding with his son ultimately led to the murder,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste. “He tried to silence his son’s cries and deny accountability for his crime, but in the courtroom the baby was heard.”

 

Sentencing is set for January 20, 2006 at 9 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive W., Santa Ana, CA 92701.  Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste in the District Attorney’s Homicide Unit prosecuted the case.

 

 

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