Orange County Criminal Defense

Santa Ana Man Convicted of Child Abuse Resulting in Death

On November 3, 2011, a jury convicted Alexander Lucas Barnes was of second-degree murder (Penal Code section 187) and child abuse resulting in death (Penal Code section 273ab).  Mr. Barnes was babysitting his girlfriend’s baby while his girlfriend was attending community college.  Mr. Barnes repeatedly slammed the baby’s head against a wall in order to make the baby stop crying.  The child died of multiple skull fractures.  Although only 20 years old, Mr. Barnes faces a prison sentence of 25 to life.

Penal Code section 273ab states:

(a) Any person, having the care or custody of a child who is under eight years of age, who assaults the child by means of force that to a reasonable person would be likely to produce great bodily injury, resulting in the child’s death, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the applicability of subdivision (a) of Section 187 or Section 189.

(b) Any person, having the care of custody of a child who is under eight years of age, who assaults the child by means of force that to a reasonable person would be likely to produce great bodily injury, resulting in the child becoming comatose due to brain injury or suffering paralysis of a permanent nature, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole.  As used in this subdivision, “paralysis” means a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism.

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