PHOENIX, AZ (March 18, 2011) – Jeremias Joel Aguilar (DOB 2/26/1988) was sentenced today by Judge Robert Gottsfield to serve 25 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for the homicide of 2½ year-old Selena Talevera who died from a severe head injury on June 18, 2009. Aguilar, who was the boyfriend of the child’s mother, agreed to plead guilty to a class 1 felony count of second degree murder and one class 3 felony count of child abuse. He will remain on lifetime probation following his release from prison, which, due to Arizona’s strong sentencing statutes, will not be until 2034.
“This is an appropriately severe sentence for an offender who not only caused the death of this child by his senseless actions, but who then lied about what he did in an effort to escape responsibility,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “As a civilized community we cannot and will not tolerate adults who harm or kill children with such brutality. There is nothing a child could ever due to remotely justify or excuse this conduct,” he added.
On June 6, 2009 paramedics and police were called to a Chandler home shared by Aguilar and his girlfriend Josefa Talavera and found Selena cold and unresponsive. Initially, Aguilar and Talavera lied to emergency responders about the circumstances of Selena’s injury, claiming the child had fallen. Two hours later, under questioning, Aguilar admitted that he had become frustrated with Selena’s crying and had slammed her head onto a concrete floor, adding that he did not call for medical help until hours after the incident. Selena was subsequently found to have a displaced skull fracture and brain swelling. She died twelve days later from a large subdural brain hemorrhage.
Josefa Talavera was charged with one class 2 felony count of child abuse, which was later dismissed after the Court ruled her incompetent to stand trial and not restorable.