Uncle Pleads Guilty in Deadly Beating Over Maryland Boy's Birthd - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Uncle Pleads Guilty in Deadly Beating Over Maryland Boy's Birthday Cake

Posted: Updated:
Jacob Barajas Jacob Barajas

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP)- The uncle of a 9-year-old Maryland boy beaten to death over a missing piece of birthday cake pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse Tuesday, acknowledging he handcuffed the child to a chair and allowed the mother's controlling boyfriend to pummel him senseless.
    
When the beating became so brutal that Jacob Barajas couldn't bear to watch, he closed his eyes, Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Mollett-Gaumer told the court. Barajas called 911 but the boy's mother sent the ambulance away, delaying treatment for hours.
    
Barajas, 24, faces up to 15 years in prison. The maximum penalty is 25 years, but prosecutors agreed to a lesser sentence and dropped six other charges, including second-degree murder, in the plea deal.
    
Barajas may be called to testify against the boy's mother, Oriana Garcia, 27, at her trial in February, Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said.
    
Garcia's boyfriend, Robert Wilson, 31, is serving a 30-year sentence after pleading guilty in March to second-degree murder in the July 2015 death of Jack Garcia.
    
Prosecutors and defense attorney Stephen Sachs revealed new details Tuesday about the months of abuse Jack endured after his mother moved them and her brother from Goleta, California, to Hagerstown, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Baltimore, to live with a man she had met online.
    
Garcia didn't enroll Jack in school in Maryland, partly because his legal custodian was Garcia's mother, who lived in another state, Sachs said. He said Jack's father had never seen the boy.
    
Barajas, a 10th-grade dropout, had lived with his sister and nephew for years, caring for Jack while Garcia worked in retail. But when they moved in with Wilson, a restaurant cook with a history of violence, all three fell subject to his strict household rules.
    
Even at his sentencing, Wilson complained about people in the apartment "not doing what they were supposed to."
    
Wilson enforced discipline by controlling food servings, Sachs said. Jack, described in an autopsy report as thin, began taking and hiding food, according to lawyers for both sides.
    
Stealing food brought physical punishment. Garcia told police she allowed her son to be handcuffed, sometimes for hours, and that Wilson had slapped the boy, hit him in the leg with a bamboo sword and sparred with him in the weeks before he died.
    
On the day Jack was fatally beaten, "I think he was just hungry and Wilson went off his rocker on that," Sachs said.
    
The beating followed the disappearance of a piece of cake at a birthday party for Wilson's visiting 2-year-old daughter, according to police reports.  Another child told investigators she heard Wilson yelling, "Cough up the cake," as Jack cried, "No! Stop!"
    
Sachs said Barajas may have felt helpless to stop the beating.
    
"I think they were scared to death of him," he said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Sussex County Drug Unit Arrests 14 in Drug Investigation

    Sussex County Drug Unit Arrests 14 in Drug Investigation

    08/23/2017 13:29:00 -04:002017-08-23 17:29:00 GMT
    Wednesday, August 23 2017 1:41 PM EDT2017-08-23 17:41:30 GMT
    Janie Handy, Jayquan Bland, Delane Jacobs; DSPDJanie Handy, Jayquan Bland, Delane Jacobs; DSPD
    SELBYVILLE AND FRANKFORD, Del.-- The Delaware State Police Sussex County Drug Unit has charged fourteen people following a three-month long drug investigation in the Pollybranch area of Selbyville.On Tuesday, DSP along with investigators from seven otherMore
    SELBYVILLE AND FRANKFORD, Del.-- The Delaware State Police Sussex County Drug Unit has charged fourteen people following a three-month long drug investigation in the Pollybranch area of Selbyville.More
  • Trial Nears for Alleged Leader of Delaware Criminal Network

    Trial Nears for Alleged Leader of Delaware Criminal Network

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 4:48 AM EDT2017-08-23 08:48:13 GMT
    Wednesday, August 23 2017 4:48 AM EDT2017-08-23 08:48:13 GMT
    Steven Kellam (Photo: Delaware State Police)Steven Kellam (Photo: Delaware State Police)
    A judge is holding a final case review in the prosecution of the alleged ringleader of an organized crime gang that operated in central and southern Delaware.More
    A judge is holding a final case review in the prosecution of the alleged ringleader of an organized crime gang that operated in central and southern Delaware.More
  • Following Lawsuit & Financial Turmoil, 2017 Punkin Chunkin Canceled

    Following Lawsuit & Financial Turmoil, 2017 Punkin Chunkin Canceled

    08/23/2017 11:33:00 -04:002017-08-23 15:33:00 GMT
    Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:33 AM EDT2017-08-23 15:33:27 GMT
    With less than 74 days until its annual event, The World Punkin Chunkin Association announced the 2017 Punkin Chunkin has been canceled following a series of financial turmoil and a lawsuit filed against the organization.More
    With less than 74 days until its annual event, The World Punkin Chunkin Association announced the 2017 Punkin Chunkin has been canceled following a series of financial turmoil and a lawsuit filed against the organization.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Neighbors React to Easton Recovery Home

    Neighbors React to Easton Recovery Home

    The Humble House has some neighbors like Michael Engels more than just worried.

    "The last thing I want to do is to find out there's a halfway house within walking distance from where my children will be playing and living," Engels said.

    Upset with what's just down the street, Engels says he's considering moving.

    More

    The Humble House has some neighbors like Michael Engels more than just worried.

    "The last thing I want to do is to find out there's a halfway house within walking distance from where my children will be playing and living," Engels said.

    Upset with what's just down the street, Engels says he's considering moving.

    More
  • Scheduled Jet to Land at Salisbury Airport Tuesday, Part 3

    Scheduled Jet to Land at Salisbury Airport Tuesday, Part 3

    It took more than two decades to get to the Salisbury Wicomico Airport to where it is. WBOC's Chris Weimer spoke with former airport manager Bob Bryant about the history of the airport's expansion.

    More

    It took more than two decades to get to the Salisbury Wicomico Airport to where it is. WBOC's Chris Weimer spoke with former airport manager Bob Bryant about the history of the airport's expansion.

    More
  • Following Lawsuit & Financial Turmoil, 2017 Punkin Chunkin Canceled

    Following Lawsuit & Financial Turmoil, 2017 Punkin Chunkin Canceled

    With less than 74 days until its annual event, The World Punkin Chunkin Association announced the 2017 Punkin Chunkin has been canceled following a series of financial issues and a lawsuit filed against the organization.

    More

    With less than 74 days until its annual event, The World Punkin Chunkin Association announced the 2017 Punkin Chunkin has been canceled following a series of financial issues and a lawsuit filed against the organization.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices