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Grandmother convicted in death of four-month-old grandson sentenced to 24 years in prison

Posted on 01/11/2018
Sandy Archuleta MugshotGREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Weld County grandmother who was convicted in connection to her grandson’s death in 2015, was sentenced to nearly two decades behind bars.

On Thursday, a Weld County judge sentenced Sandy Archuleta, 55, to 24 years in the Department of Corrections on charges of Child Abuse Resulting in Death of her 4-month-old grandson, Donovon Archuleta.

According to the affidavit, Angelica Chavez, the mother of the infant, dropped the baby off at the home of Roberto “Nathan” Archuleta, the boy’s father, and Sandy Archuleta, Nathan’s mother, in late July 2015. During 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 indicate that the infant had broken ribs, which examiners said were not caused by CPR.

Archuleta said while Donovan was in her care, he started running a fever and she used vinegar and potato slices on his skin to help reduce symptoms, which ultimately burned the infant’s skin.

Police reports show that several hours passed before Chavez called an ambulance after realizing something was wrong with the baby when she returned to the Archuleta’s home. Donovan was pronounced dead at the Children’s Hospital in Denver on the morning of August 2, 2017.

“There are very few cases that would be more serious than this,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Whitney said at the sentencing hearing Thursday. “A death to a child is always tragic, but a death of a child that never even had a chance to have a life is even worse. Baby Donovan spent the last week of his life in agony and in pain. This was intentional pain and infliction, and what happened to this baby was just pure monstrous.”

Chavez was convicted and sentenced to eight years in the Department of Corrections in April of last year. Nathan Archuleta also faces one charge of Child Abuse Resulting in Death and plead not guilty. A jury trial for Nathan is set for April 10th.