Israel Avila appeared before Municipal Judge Rene De Coss on Tuesday morning. Sobs and moans
could be heard as the accused made his way from a cell into the courtroom, his shackles clanking as he walked.
Police began investigating the man Monday morning after Valley Regional Medical Center-Brownsville notified them of a baby in critical condition with obvious signs of physical abuse, Manrrique said.
“According to the physicians, the child was suffering from blunt-force trauma,” he said. “The initial observation was that the baby was bleeding from the brain, had bruising and contusions throughout the face and had a broken collarbone.”
The child’s mother — Avila’s common-law wife — had him in charge of the baby at their home while she dropped off her mother at work, police said.
“He called (the wife) telling her there was something wrong with the baby,” Manrrique said. “During our interview, under his own admission, he stated that the child was very irritable throughout the night. Once the mother left the home, the child continued to be irritable, and in his own words, he lost it.”
Police wouldn’t elaborate on how and with what the child was beaten. However, police said Avila “mainly” used his hands
The father grasped the infant’s head while he forcefully shoved a pacifier into the baby’s mouth to keep him from crying, police said.
“He is only 17 years old and obviously didn’t have the parenting skills needed to deal with a baby,” Manrrique said. “However, this will not affect our investigation. The focus of the investigation will be on the victim. We will seek justice for the child. He beat a helpless defenseless human being to death — his own child.”