NEWARK — The father of a 2-month-old infant who died in December from multiple blunt injuries has been charged with his son's death.
Newark resident Adrian Natividad Ledesma, 23, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of murder and assault on a child, causing death.
He is being held without bail at Santa Rita county jail in Dublin and is expected to return to the Fremont Hall of Justice on May 14 to possibly enter a plea.
Ledesma, a father of two who also has half a dozen pending misdemeanor cases and a pair of felonies stemming from a road-rage case in Dublin, was formally charged Tuesday, four months after his son Christian Auxier died from multiple blunt injuries to the head.
Prosecutors reviewed the case this week after a lengthy investigation by Newark police Detective Dan Anderson revealed that the infant suffered 20 separate injuries to his head, including some that led to bleeding in his brain.
On Monday, Anderson went to Ledesma's home with a murder warrant and arrested him. Ledesma refused to talk to police further about the case, Anderson said.
The investigator then presented the case to prosecutors, and they agreed to charge the case.
Although there are no witnesses saying Ledesma beat his son, evidence suggests that he was the only person home Dec. 28, when the infant apparently was beaten, Anderson said.
Police began investigating the case Dec. 29, when doctors
at Washington Hospital reported the child's death.
Christian was brought into the emergency room by a family friend just after 11 p.m. Dec. 28 and pronounced dead within an hour, Anderson said.
Police immediately began investigating the matter as a suspicious death but were not able to rule it as a homicide until several months later.
According to Anderson, Christian lived with his 23-year-old mother in Concord. But on Dec. 28, the mother left the infant with Ledesma at his Noel Avenue home in Newark, which he shared with his wife and 4-year-old son. That son, whom Ledesma fathered with his wife, has since been placed in protective custody as a result of the investigation, Anderson said.
Ledesma cared for his younger son that day and had several people at the home between midday and about 9 p.m. All of those friends told police that Christian appeared fine when they left, Anderson said.
From 9 to 11 p.m., when Ledesma's wife returned home, Ledesma was home alone with his son. It was during that time that authorities believe Christian was assaulted, the investigator said.
When the wife got home, the couple went outside to smoke a cigarette. Minutes later, they checked on Christian and saw that he was not breathing, the detective said.
The couple said they administered CPR for several minutes but were not successful. They then drove the infant five miles to Washington Hospital instead of calling 9-1-1, Anderson said.
On the way there, Ledesma called Christian's mother and told her to meet them at the emergency room.
The mother and a friend arrived before Ledesma and his wife. Christian's mother frantically ran inside the hospital, and the friend remained in the car.
Minutes later, Ledesma and his wife showed up and handed the baby to the friend, telling her that she needed to rush him inside, Anderson said.
Ledesma and his wife then left.
Doctors began working on Christian immediately, but he was pronounced dead just after midnight.
When police questioned Ledesma on Dec. 29, he said that he did not assault his son. He also told them that he was afraid to take his son into the emergency room or call for emergency aid, because he had outstanding warrants and did not want to be arrested, Anderson said.
For several months, Anderson cross-referenced telephone records and corroborated statements given by people who were at Ledesma's home Dec. 28.
All of that, coupled with the cause of death, left Anderson with only one conclusion: Ledesma inflicted the injuries that killed his son, the detective said.