A Corona woman arrested earlier this month on suspicion of child abuse has now been charged with second-degree murder, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Doctors at Elmhurst Hospital Center declared 11-week-old Pablo Paez brain-dead last Thursday and removed him from life support, authorities said. Pablo's mother, Kiana Paez, 23, was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, assault and child endangerment April 5. the DA said. Her next court date is May 5. With the upgraded charges, she faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison, according to Brown.
"It is difficult to imagine the pain and suffering that this infant must have suffered during the few short weeks of his life," Brown said in a prepared statement. "Or that he could be abused in such a fashion by his mother.
Paez brought an unconscious Pablo to the hospital April 3 around 9:45 p.m., authorities said. The doctors discovered the baby had a fractured skull, head trauma, bleeding on the brain, fractured ribs, cuts and bruises as well as an old fracture to his left femur, Brown said. Police arrested her shortly thereafter.
After her arrest, Paez told investigators the abuse started when she was changing Pablo's diaper on Feb. 22, the DA said. Paez pressed down on her son's legs several times to keep him from moving, and later picked him up and threw him three feet onto her bed, the DA said.
Three weeks later, Paez smacked her son on the side of his head with her open hand to make him stop crying, authorities said. She then strapped Pablo into an infant car seat and left him alone, Brown said. Later, when Paez saw her son was having trouble breathing, she tried to pick the seat up from her bed, but dropped it on the floor with her son still strapped in, the DA said.
Pablo began to cry and then was silent, Brown said.
Paez had recently had another child removed from her custody by the city Administration for Children's Services, a police source said.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@tim
©2008 Community News Group
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