Mother Convicted in Death of 4-month-old Sentenced to 8 Years Prison
Published on April 20, 2017
GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) - A Weld County mother found guilty last month of the child abuse death of her 4-month-old son was sentenced today to eight years in the Department of Corrections.
A jury convicted Angelica Chavez, 30, of Greeley, in early March of negligent child abuse resulting in death, a charge that carried a possible 16-year sentence. Today, Weld County District Court Judge Julie Hoskins sentenced Chavez to eight years, followed by five years of parole.
At last month's trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Whitney argued that although Chavez didn't inflict the injuries to 4-month-old Donovan Archuleta, her inaction helped lead to his death.
According to the affidavit, Chavez dropped Donovan off at the home of Nathan Archuleta, the boy's father, and Sandy Archuleta, Nathan's mother, in late July 2015. Over the course of the next six days, Donovan developed chemical burns to his face, mouth and gums, a sepsis infection from pneumonia and red bruises caused by pinching from tweezers. Medical records also show he had broken ribs, which examiners said were not caused by CPR.
Police reports show that seven hours passed before Chavez called an ambulance after returning to the home. Donovan died early the next morning at the Children's Hospital in Denver.
“Donovan died because his mother failed him,” Whitney argued during today's sentencing hearing. “The defendant was only one of three people in the entire world who could have saved him, and she chose to do nothing until it was too late. This innocent, helpless child lost his life, in part, because of her inactions and for doing nothing as a mother.”
Sandy Archuleta pleaded not guilty following today's sentencing. Her six-day trial begins September 25. Nathan Archuleta returns to court May 3 at 1:30 p.m. for an arraignment.