Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR ASSAULTING GIRLFRIEND’S 4-YEAR-OLD SON RESULTING IN CHILD’S DEATH
*Girlfriend charged with murdering her child
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison for assaulting his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son with great bodily injury to the child’s head resulting in his death. Alberto Solis Guzman, 30, was convicted by a jury Nov. 22, 2010, of one felony count each of assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death, corporal injury on a child, and child abuse. He was acquitted of the murder charge.
Guzman’s girlfriend and mother of the child, is facing charges for murdering her son by inflicting several blunt force trauma injuries to the child’s head in her Santa Ana home. Gabriela Mariana Morales, 28, is charged with one felony count each of murder, assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death, child abuse, and a sentencing enhancement for child abuse resulting in death. She faces a maximum sentence of 34 years to life if convicted. Morales is in custody and has a pre-trial hearing Feb. 4, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Morales and her boyfriend Guzman were living together in Santa Ana with Morales’ 4-year-old son Brandon. On April 30, 2008, Guzman abused Brandon by punching and hitting the victim.
On May 30, 2008, Morales is accused of assaulting her son, causing several blunt force trauma injuries to the victim’s head and rendering Brandon unconscious. Morales is accused of waiting several hours before calling 911. Paramedics arrived and transported the unresponsive victim to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where he was pronounced dead due to blunt force trauma injuries to his head.
During the trial against Guzman, Brandon’s 9-year-old brother testified that during the months leading up to his little brother’s death, the defendant repeatedly hit the baby with his hands and a belt. He also testified that Guzman and Morales forced Brandon to sleep on the floor, refused to feed the boy, and made Brandon stand in the corner with his hands above his head for long periods of time. The defendant’s statements given to the police were admitted. Guzman claimed to the police that although he had hit the baby, it was never very hard and the boy’s mother, his girlfriend, was the one who murdered the baby.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.