SALINAS MAN FOUND GUILTY OF CHILD ABUSE CAUSING DEATH AND SECOND-DEGREE MURDER OF SIX-MONTH-OLD BABY
Photo: Hector Aguero Jr.
Originally published as a Salinas Police Department Facebook post –
Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni announced today that a Monterey County jury found Hector Aguero, Jr., age 27, guilty of child abuse likely to result in great bodily injury, with an enhancement for personally inflicting great bodily injury on a child; child abuse likely to result in great bodily injury causing the death of the child; and second degree murder. Judge Andrew Liu presided.
On the morning of August 7, 2018, the baby’s mother left for work leaving her 6-month-old baby, Hector Aguero III, (“Baby Hector”) with the boy’s father, Hector Aguero, Jr. Two hours later the defendant called 911 to report that the baby was unconscious, not breathing and in cardiac arrest.
The child was transported to Natividad Medical Center (NMC) where medical staff began to observe signs of severe, non-accidental trauma. Baby Hector had severe bruising to his buttocks and thighs that darkened and spread as time passed.
A CT scan showed a displaced skull fracture, global brain injury from lack of oxygen and internal brain bleeding. The baby also had older brain injuries that had since healed. Although NMC staff were able to stabilize Baby Hector, it appeared that he was likely already brain dead.
Baby Hector was flown to Stanford Hospital where medical professionals confirmed Baby Hector’s injuries and his lack of brain activity. On August 8, 2018, a pediatric ophthalmologist observed severe retinal injuries which indicated to medical staff that Baby Hector had been severely and violently shaken on August 7, 2018. A medical expert opined that the injuries from this shaking event were so severe that Baby Hector likely would have died from them within minutes to a couple hours.
On August 11, 2018, Baby Hector was officially declared dead from his traumatic injuries. An autopsy confirmed that Baby Hector had multiple skull fractures at the back of his head, including two fractures at the base of his skull.
Based on the size and location of the injuries, all of the fractures were consistent with intentionally inflicted trauma on at least two separate occasions. Subsequent police investigations indicated that the defendant had a history of perpetrating domestic violence on the baby’s mother.
They were also able to document several incidents where Baby Hector suffered unexplained injuries while in the sole care of the defendant. During questioning the defendant maintained that he had not intentionally harmed the baby and only dropped him once while spanking him on August 7th.
During the trial every testifying medical expert opined that the injuries were caused by non-accidental abusive head trauma and were among the most severe they had seen inflicted upon a young infant.
The defendant is facing at a maximum sentence of 36 years-to-life. The case was primarily investigated by Detectives Ciro Barboza and Kenneth Schwener of the Salinas Police Department.
SALINAS MAN FOUND GUILTY OF CHILD ABUSE CAUSING DEATH AND SECOND-DEGREE MURDER OF SIX-MONTH-OLD BABY was last modified: November 5th, 2020 by