ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Ruidoso Downs couple charged with the death of a 3-year-old boy pleaded not guilty in state District Court on Friday and each blamed someone else for the child’s death, the Ruidoso News reported.
A grand jury in July indicted Savanah Morales, 23, and Paz Israel Primera, 30, for the June 11 death of Paz Israel Primera Jr., the News said.
Public Defender Todd Holmes entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Morales, saying she did not cause the injuries to the child, saying, “Savanah was on the way to Tularosa with her mother when she received a text message saying that the child was sick … She did not cause the injuries to the child.”
Meanwhile, Public Defender Chandler Blair said his client, the child’s father, would stand silent, so state District Judge Karen Parsons entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.
“Mr. Primera was not the primary care provider for this child,” Blair told the judge. “The injuries occurred while he was at work.”
According to court documents, the 3-year-old died of blunt force trauma to his abdomen, Dr. Mario Rascon of the state Office of the Medical Investigator told detectives.
6:59am 6/19/12 — Ruidoso Downs Couple Held in Boy’s Death
By ABQnews Staff
New Mexico State Police are investigating the death of a 3-year-old Ruidoso Downs boy, who was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at his home on June 11, KOB-TV reported.
According to a criminal complaint, the toddler, Paz Israel Primera Jr., died of “blunt force trauma to the abdomen,” and the boy’s father, Pas Israel Primera, and the father’s girlfriend, Savanah Morales, were charged last Friday with negligent child abuse resulting in death, KOB-TV said.
Two other children lived at the home and were taken to Lincoln County Regional Medical Center in Ruidoso but neither showed signs of child abuse, according to Eyewitness News 4.
Primera and Morales were being held at the Lincoln County Detention Center without bond, KOB-TV said.