Thursday, September 07, 2000

Dad's statement in baby's death allowed

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Ramon Gomez Silva's statement to police that he beat his infant daughter to stop her from crying can be used as evidence in his murder trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

        Police did not violate Mr. Gomez's constitutional rights when they questioned him about his daughter, Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage decided.

        Eleven-week-old Maria Gomez Silva died June 12 when life support was removed at Children's Hospital Medical Center. Three days earlier, the infant's 16-year- old mother had brought her to a hospital because she stopped breathing.

        Police said Maria was abused from birth and died from multiple injuries.

        Mr. Gomez, 21, is charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of child endangering.

        Maria's mother will stand trial in juvenile court on charges of involuntary manslaughter, permitting child abuse and two counts of child endangering.

        The Enquirer is not naming the mother because she is a juvenile.

        Hamilton Police Officer Eric Taylor, who speaks Spanish, testified that he interpreted for Mr. Gomez when Detective Steve Rogers questioned him.

        He said he read Mr. Gomez's Miranda warning to him in Spanish. He said Mr. Gomez chose to give a statement without an attorney.

        In a statement to police that Mr. Gomez signed, he admitted to yanking Maria's legs, squeezing her, hitting her and shaking her in the two days before she was hospitalized.

        He said he became angry June 8 when she wouldn't quit crying.

        “I laid her across my lap face-down and punched her with a closed fist on the back, and milk came out of her mouth and nose,” he said in his statement. “She screamed very loud after I hit her.”


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