Sentencing Postponed for Indio Man Convicted of Killing Girlfriend’s Son

 In blog, Crime –

Sentencing Postponed for Indio Man Convicted of Killing Girlfriend’s Son

by Contributing Editor

Sentencing was rescheduled Wednesday to Feb. 7 for a man convicted of second-degree murder and assault charges for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 22-month-old child in Indio nearly a decade ago.

A jury deliberated three days in October before finding Esteban Alamo, 34, guilty of second-degree murder and assault on a child resulting in death. He’s facing 15 years to life in state prison.

It’s the third time that Alamo’s sentencing has been rescheduled. On Dec. 4, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Anthony Villalobos agreed to a continuance to give Alamo’s new attorney, Christopher Hickey, additional time to pour over trial transcripts and other records, possibly in preparation for a motion for a new trial.

Alamo was on parole and living with his girlfriend in Indio at the time of the attack that killed Serik Nieto.

According to prosecutors, he babysat the toddler on Oct. 4, 2010, for four to five hours while the boy’s mother ran errands. When she returned, she found her son unconscious and struggling to breathe.

The woman took Serik to JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, but he was soon airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was pronounced brain-dead and taken off of life support five days later.

Alamo’s prior attorney, Jacob Devane, asked jurors to consider whether the toddler’s mother could be responsible for his death and also suggested the boy could have fallen while playing.

Deputy District Attorney Joshua Hill countered that during an interview with police, Alamo indicated the child’s injuries occurred when the mother was away from the residence.

According to a declaration filed in support of an arrest warrant, Alamo told Indio police detectives that he did not like children and would lose his temper fairly quickly, adding that is why he didn’t have any children of his own.

An autopsy revealed that the victim’s injuries could not have been caused by a “simple fall from a couch, chair, bed,” according to court papers.

Following the verdict, the victim’s aunt, Stefanie Nieto, told reporters she and many of her family members believe Alamo is innocent.

Nieto said years after the baby’s death that she was told by the victim’s older sister that the child tumbled down some stairs.

“There is no physical evidence saying this man did it,” Nieto told reporters outside the Indio courthouse. She added that the mother blamed Alamo, but accused her of “neglectfulness” and failure “to do her motherly duties.”

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All credit goes to Contributing Editor
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