Forum staff reports, Published July 23 2012
Pelican Rapids man pleads guilty in death of 5-month-old boyFERGUS FALLS, Minn. – A Pelican Rapids man who pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree manslaughter in connection with the November death of his girlfriend’s 5-month-old son will serve four years and nine months in prison under the terms of a plea agreement, the prosecutor said.
Pedro Larios Mendoza, 31, who is in the United States illegally, will be deported after serving his prison sentence, said Assistant Otter Tail County Attorney Michelle Eldien.
Charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Court records described the boy as having suffered skull fractures, bruising and brain hemorrhaging, along with older rib fractures and a wrist fracture that was still healing.
Mendoza, who was watching the boy Nov. 18 while his girlfriend was at work, told police the boy fell off the bed and must have hit his head on a jar of coins on the floor, court documents stated.
In court Friday, Mendoza admitted he’d been drinking and left the child alone on the bed. Eldien said he acknowledged that evidence doctors and experts would have presented at trial would have shown the baby’s injuries were caused by blunt force or some other intentional act.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 25.