On October 16, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico announced that Jay Rutherford Paiz of Dulce, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree of his son. Paiz is a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
During the plea hearing, Paiz told the U.S. Attorney’s Office that he fatally injured his 3-year-old son on July 20, 2008 at his residence that is located on the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation. He was arrested on July 22, 2008 after a criminal complaint was issued that he attempted to kill or commit manslaughter through child abuse.
According to court documents, the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department and the EMS arrived at Paiz’s residence after responding to a call. When they got there, Paiz was walking toward the vehicles with his son in his arms. His son was unresponsive. The child was rushed to the hospital and bruises were found on his head, ears, back, legs, and pelvic area. The bruises did not occur all at once.
The son underwent emergency surgery to release pressure on the brain. The child was admitted to intensive care, but his condition worsened on the next day. The 3-year-old boy eventually died of his head injuries on July 3, 2008, and Paiz was immediately charged with first-degree murder.
Paiz eventually pled guilty to second-degree murder. During the guilty plea, Paiz stated that he repeatedly spanked and whipped his son with a belt because he didn’t listen. On the day of the head injuries, Paiz admitted that he threw his son on the bed which resulted in the boy hitting his head against the wall. Paiz stated he was intoxicated during the incident.
The conditions of the plea agreement sentence Paiz to at least 15 years in prison and no more than 25 years in prison.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation