QUEENS — A 28-year-old Queens man has been charged with manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in the death of his infant son inside their 88 Street residence last week.
The defendant allegedly told authorities the child fell off of a couch in their home. Autopsy results later showed that the baby died of injuries consistent with abusive head trauma caused by violent repetitive shaking.
Acting District Attorney John Ryan said, “The victim in this case was an innocent baby whose life was cut short a mere two months after his birth. As a father, the defendant was responsible for caring and maintaining the safety and well-being of his young son. Instead, he is accused of violently shaking the infant to death. He now faces a lengthy period of time behind bars for his allegedly senseless and brutal actions.”
The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Luis Sanchez, 28, of Woodhaven, Queens. Sanchez was arraigned late yesterday before Queens County Criminal Court Judge Danielle Hartman on a complaint charging him with second-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Hartman set bail at $150,000 and ordered Sanchez to return to court on September 20, 2019. If convicted, Sanchez faces up to 15 years in prison.
Acting District Attorney Ryan said that, according to the charges, at approximately 12:20 p.m. on August 16, 2019, first responders arrived at Sanchez’s 88 Street home. Upon arriving at the scene, th emergency personnel discovered the unresponsive body of Sanchez’s seven-week-old son. They were allegedly told by Sanchez that his son – who was not breathing and whose lips had turned blue – had been healthy and functioning shortly before his discovery. When questioned, Sanchez allegedly told police he was sitting on his couch with the child in his arms when he grabbed his 14-month-old son – who was also in the home – in an attempt to prevent the toddler from falling off of the couch. As a result, the seven-week-old infant slipped from his arms and onto the floor, hitting his head. It is alleged that Sanchez then stated he gave the infant – who was fussy – a bath. At some point, he allegedly left the baby alone to check on his older son, only to return to the bathroom to find the child in an unconscious state. Emergency medical technicians transported the baby to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and later to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead three days later. Autopsy findings revealed that the baby sustained extensive retinal and subdural hemorrhages in addition to several rib fractures at various stages of healing. According to the charges, doctors determined that the infant’s injuries were consistent with abusive head trauma, including violent receptive shaking.
The medical examiner further confirmed these findings in the autopsy which indicated that the baby’s injuries could not have been sustained during a fall as Sanchez alluded to in his statements to police. The investigation was conducted by Detective Matthew Debonis, of the New York City Police Department’s 102nd Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Raymond Munoz, of Queens South Homicide Squad and the Queens District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau and Homicide Investigations Bureau.