Aunt defends man who beat her baby nephew to death – and insists "he’s innocent"
The aunt of a one-year-old boy who died of brutal injuries claims the man convicted over beating the child to death is innocent.
Esteban Alamo, 33, was this week found guilty of the murder of his then-girlfriend's son Serik Nieto almost a decade ago in Califorinia.
But the boy's paternal aunt claims the jury got it wrong, claiming her nephew actually fell down stairs.
She defended Alamo following his conviction this week, basing her claim on what she says her nephew's five-year-old sister told her after Nieto was injured.
The baby's aunt Stefanie Nieto told media outside court following the jury's that she believed the baby fell down the stairs, based on his older sister's comments, reports KESQ .
Serik died on October 9, 2010, days after he was injured at his home in the Californian city of Indio where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend, Alamo.
According to reports, prosecutors say Alamo was babysitting for four to five hours while Serik's mother ran errands.
When she returned, she found her baby unresponsive with irregular breathing, and white foamy saliva on his lip.
The boy was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced brain dead.
He died days later after being taken off life support.
Police interviewed Alamo when the baby was first rushed to hospital, but reportedly didn't run checks on him and at the time didn't realise he was allegedly in violation of his parole from Los Angeles.
In a second police interview days after Serik was injured, Alamo claimed that the child came in from playing and nothing appeared to be wrong except for a cut lip he presumed must have been from a fall.
In the recording of the police interview played to the court, Alamo says: "I have nothing to hide. I know it looks bad, especially for me."
He said he occasionally disciplined his girlfriend's children, but had grown fond of them.
He was arrested initially for the alleged parole violation, but it then took the local coroner's office several months to complete an autopsy on the baby.
The charges related to Serik's death were not filed against Alamo until February 2 to 11.
Alamo's defence argued the child could have fallen while playing or the mother could have caused the injuries.
However, the prosecution called the defence case speculative, arguing the evidence showed she was out when the fatal injuries occurred.
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