By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer
The 16-year-old charged Monday in connection with the death of an infant boy told police he gave the crying baby Tylenol to calm him down.
Police found 4-month-old Christopher Valdez dead at 901 E. Brady Ave. on Saturday.
The baby’s 19-year-old mother told police the infant fell from her chest to the floor while she slept on a couch.
The 16-year-old boy was charged Monday with negligent abuse of a child resulting in death, tampering with evidence and obstructing a child-abuse investigation, records show.
He is being held at the Curry County Juvenile Detention Center and faces a maximum two-year penalty if convicted as a juvenile, and life in prison if convicted as an adult, said 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler.
Chandler said he has not decided if he’ll prosecute the suspect as an adult.
The baby’s mother told police the child turned white after crying for 30 minutes, so she called her mother, then emergency workers were called, the report shows.
The 16-year-old suspect told police he was in the bathroom when he heard the baby start crying, and the child wouldn’t stop.
“(The suspect) said that Christopher had continued to cry and that he had given him some Tylenol in an attempt to help calm him down,” the report said.
Officials would not comment on the child’s cause of death or how much Tylenol he was given, citing the ongoing investigation.
“Some of those questions will be answered with the autopsy report,” said Clovis Police Lt. James Schoeffel.
A second child was taken into protective custody at the scene of the baby’s death and a 60-year-old man was also at the residence, police records show.
Schoeffel would not say the relationship between all the individuals in the home.
Police allege the 16-year-old’s arrest arose after subsequent interviews were conducted, which are not included in an incident report made public on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old mother could not be reached for comment.
No other arrests have been made in connection with the case, police said.