On January 21, we told you about Joseph Trujillo, who reportedly left his infant alone for six or seven hours while he was boozing at a bar -- and when he returned, the child was dead.
In its initial release about Trujillo, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office explicitly stated that he was being "held without bond on the charge of first degree murder." The next day, the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office backed away from that, emphasizing in a note to the press that Trujillo hadn't been charged with anything yet. And now, a formal charge has been put in place: child abuse resulting in death, not first-degree murder.
Still no details about the death of the child, Adrian Anthony Trujillo, age five months. But look below to read the DA's clarification from last week, as well as the initial JCSO document:
E-mail from Jefferson County District Attorneys Office spokeswoman Pam Russell, January 22:
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Mr. Joseph Trujillo was arrested yesterday after police were called to his house and found his 4-month-old son non-responsive. The baby had died.
Trujillo has not yet been charged with a crime. He was arrested for murder based on what investigators knew at the time. You could also say that he is being held on murder charges, but he has not been charged with anything.
He had his first appearance in court today; he was advised of his rights. His next court appearance is 1/28 at 10:00. This is his return for filing of charges. We have until then to file charges.
The Sheriff's Office asked to have the arrest affidavit sealed so there is no additional information about the investigation available at this time.
Original Jefferson County Sheriff's Office release, January 21:
Five-month-old baby dies while left all alone
Father charged with first degree murder
Jefferson County, CO -- On January 21, 2010, at about 12:30 a.m., Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies and medical personnel responded to the16000 block of W. 10th Ave. in reference to an unresponsive five-month-old baby boy.
The baby's grandmother called 911 after waking up to the sounds of her son, Joseph Trujillo (dob 04-07-86), crying. She found Trujillo holding the unresponsive baby who was subsequently declared dead at the scene by medical personnel. Trujillo is the baby's father, and they share an apartment with the grandmother.
A team of Jefferson County investigators worked diligently through the night interviewing Trujillo, the grandmother, and numerous other witnesses. Through their work it was discovered that Trujillo had left the baby alone in the apartment for between six and seven hours while he went to a local bar and drank.
Trujillo was booked into the Jefferson County Jail where he is being held without bond on the charge of first degree murder.
An autopsy of the baby is pending to determine cause and manner of death.
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office tip line at 303-271-5612.