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Man pleads guilty in abuse death of then-girlfriend's son

Man pleads guilty in abuse death of then-girlfriend's son

January 18th, 2019 by Associated Press in Missouri News

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty in the abuse death of his then-girlfriend's 3-year-old son in southwest Missouri.

The Joplin Globe reported Leonard Valdez pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in the November 2017 death of Jonathan Munoz-Bilbrey. The plea agreement drops a second count of child abuse resulting in death and caps his sentence at 22 years.

Court records say Valdez called the boy's mother while she was at work and told her that Jonathan was sick. Jonathan was transported from a Joplin apartment to a local hospital, and later to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where he died.

Medical staff determined Jonathan suffered injuries consistent with head trauma.