UPDATE, JAN. 28, 1:36 P.M.: 29-year-old Alberto Solis Guzman was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison for assaulting, battering, endangering and causing the death of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son.
The mother of Brandon Morales, who died on May 30, 2008, still faces trial later this year for her role in her boy's death.
The Orange County Register's Larry Welborn reports Guzman showed no emotion when Superior Court Judge W. Michael Hayes handed down his sentence.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 23, 2010, 1:12 P.M.: Alberto Solis Guzman has been convicted of assaulting his
girlfriend's 4-year-old son with great bodily injury to the child's head
resulting in his death, but the 30-year-old's lover faces not only that charge but a murder rap and other felony counts at her trial.
Like Guzman, Gabriela Mariana
Morales, 28, of Santa Ana, could receive up to 34 years to life in state prison with a conviction.
Morales' son Brandon lived a nightmarish short life. His 9-year-old brother testified during Guzman's trial that the mother's boyfriend repeatedly hit the younger child with his hands and a belt, and that the couple forced Brandon to sleep on the floor, refused to
feed him and made him stand in a corner with his hands above
his head for extended periods.
Guzman's conviction was largely based on evidence that showed on April 30, 2008, he repeatedly hit and punched the 4-year-old. A month to the day later, Morales allegedly caused her pride and joy to fall unconscious from several blows to his head, according to prosecutors.
However, the mother waited several hours before calling 9-1-1, authorities allege.
Paramedics had Brandon rushed to Children's Hospital of Orange County in Orange, where he was pronounced dead from blunt-force trauma to the head.
At the time of his arrest, police say, Guzman admitted to having hit Brandon before but claimed that it was never very hard and that Morales murdered her baby.