SANTA FE, N.M. — Javier S. Chavez, 17, charged with one count of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, entered a “denial” to that charge at his first appearance this morning in juvenile court in Santa Fe.
The “denial” in juvenile court is the equivalent of a not guilty plea in adult court.
Chavez allegedly told sheriff’s investigators that he “forcefully” shook his 5 – week – old son on Monday morning after Chavez had dropped the infant’s mother, 16, off at and local community college and after Chavez returned home the baby would not stop crying.
The baby is in critical but stable condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. Santa Fe attorney John Day said he was retained by the family on Wednesday to represent Chavez.
“We are looking into it (the case),” said Day, who was at today’s 9 a.m. court appearance. The prosecutor in the case is considering filing to have Chavez treated as a serious violent offender and then his case would move to adult court, said Day.
As an assistant district attorney in Taos, Day had experience prosecuting a ‘shaken baby” case. Chavez is currently being detained at the juvenile detention center as there is no bond for juvenile cases.