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Forum staff reports, Published September 09 2013

Dilworth man sentenced to 20 years in Ada baby's death

ADA, Minn. – A Dilworth man was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing his girlfriend’s baby daughter last fall.

In pleading guilty July 29 to a charge of second-degree murder, Raul Perez, 25, admitted he became angry at 22-month-old Ariel Reyes while taking care of her on Aug. 29, 2012, throwing her into her crib when she wouldn’t stop crying.

Norman County Attorney James Brue said at the time of the guilty hearing that Perez testified he “snapped.” The Ada toddler died of neck and head injuries, according to court documents. Perez was watching the girl while her mother went to the grocery store.

Despite Perez’s lack of a criminal record of note, Brue had sought a longer sentence than the state guideline of between 11 and 15 years because the boyfriend was in a “position of trust or authority over the child” and because there was another young child, Ariel’s 5-year-old brother, present at the time.

Perez can serve one-third of his 20-year sentence behind bars on supervised release.