OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma man pleaded guilty to three felony charges on Wednesday in connection to the death of his infant son.
Victor Minjarez was tight-lipped as he was escorted back to the Oklahoma County Jail.
He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, desecration of a corpse, and second-degree burglary.
"It was just a very horrific fact pattern. It makes you angry, but you want to try to set the emotion aside and try to do the right thing," said Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger.
Minjarez was arrested in March 2018 for the death of his 7-month-old son, Jody. The baby was found inside a trashcan outside of an Oklahoma City home after an Amber Alert was issued by the Norman Police Department.
Jody’s mother testified in court at a preliminary hearing and said the last time she saw Jody was February 19, 2018. Minjarez was watching Jody at a home in Norman while she was at work. When she came home, she told the court he was “explosive” and angry before he violently beat her and took off with Jody.
During an interview with police, Minjarez told investigators that Jody had been dead for a week. Minjarez claimed he placed a heater near the baby while he was asleep to keep him warm. He said he later woke up to the baby with blisters around his face but did not call 911 because he was already wanted.
Prosecutors, however, said a medical examiner’s report found Jody died from blunt force trauma with a skull fracture. His manner of death was ruled a homicide.
"His attorneys have expressed to us on multiple occasions that he has deep regret for what he did. The motivation is something that I don`t know that we`ll ever know for sure" said Gieger.
The state was originally seeking the death penalty in this case. Instead, Minjarez will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to the charges.
"No doubt it was a horrible crime and he's gonna receive a very, very severe punishment. He'll never get out again," said Gieger. "Hopefully, this will bring an end to this and bring whatever closure you can to this family.”
Minjarez also waived his rights to any type of appeal.