Oklahoma City mother gets life in fatal infant stabbing
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City woman has been sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted her of fatally stabbing her infant son.
The jury found Raven Veloz, 24, guilty Thursday of first-degree murder and two counts of assault and battery with a lethal weapon after a two-week trial, The Oklahoman reported. The jury rejected Veloz’s insanity defense.
Prosecutors say Veloz stabbed and killed 8-month-old Ezekiel Veloz and injured her daughter, Sophia Veloz, and boyfriend, Sergio Garcia, in the July 2016 attack. She was taken to county jail after being treated for apparently self-inflicted stab injuries.
“It was a tragedy for everyone involved,” said Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Harmon.
The jury recommended life sentences on each count.
Judge Natalie Mai will decide whether the life sentences will run consecutively or concurrently during an Aug. 21 hearing. Each sentence will have the potential of parole.
Garcia, 30, gave emotional testimony about the three children he had with Veloz, two of whom are dead. Their 13-month-old daughter, Audree, died of sudden infant death syndrome six months before the stabbing.
Dr. Jason Beaman testified that Veloz suffered from mental illness following the infant’s death. Beaman, the chairman of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Oklahoma State University, added that Veloz suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts prior to the attack.
Dr. Jarrod Steffan, the state’s expert psychologist, said Veloz was cognizant of her crimes.
After Garcia fled their apartment while hurt, Veloz locked the front door with their children still inside. Oklahoma City police Sgt. Justin Walters testified that it took 42 minutes before firefighters could get the door opened.
Harmon, the prosecutor, said Veloz lied to law enforcement and exhibited no remorse.
Garcia suffered six stab wounds to his chest, side, arm and back. He initially told police he thought the stabbing was premeditated but retracted that account at trial.
Sophia, who was 4 at the time of the attack, testified via video that she watched her mother stab her brother and that she tried to remain quiet so her mother wouldn’t do the same thing to her, Harmon said.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com