A 35-year-old mother in Utah could spend the rest of her life behind bars for abusing, torturing and ultimately killing her 6-year-old son for potty training more than four years ago. Third District Judge Douglas Hogan on Tuesday ordered Reyna Elizabeth Flores-Rosales to serve five years to life in a state penitentiary for the 2019 murder of young Norlin Cruz, authorities said.
According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, a Salt Lake County jury in February convicted Flores-Rosales of one count of reckless child homicide, a first-degree felony. The jurors chose to convict her of reckless homicide instead of an aggravated murder charge.
In addition to the possible life sentence, Judge Hogan also sentenced Flores-Rosales to one to 15 years each for two counts of second-degree intentional child abuse and zero to five years for recklessly aggravated child abuse. in the third degree. All sentences must be served consecutively.
During the hearing, Judge Hogan said he didn’t believe Flores-Rosales should ever be released due to the “despicable” nature of her crimes and her apparent lack of remorse, the station reported. Salt Lake City Fox KSL news station.
” It was horrible. It was horrible in the worst possible way,” Hogan reportedly said. “I have never seen systematic abuse like this. The court was particularly troubled by what I believe can be accurately interpreted as the defendant’s efforts to protect herself, rather than Norlin.
“Children are vulnerable and rely on the adults around them for their safety and protection,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in a statement. “This defendant abused her child with intentional, heinous and repeated violence. The level of ruthless, humiliating and gratuitous violence inflicted here demanded the most severe punishment. No one who was part of this prosecution was indifferent to what came to light during the investigation and prosecution. »
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Flores-Rosales called 911 on Feb. 25, 2019, and told the emergency dispatcher that her 6-year-old son needed immediate medical assistance after finding him unconscious on his shower floor, KSL reported.
Firefighters and police responded to the scene where they allegedly found the child without a pulse and immediately transported him to hospital for treatment.
Medical staff reportedly told investigators that upon examining Norlin they found the child had also suffered ‘multiple injuries and scars’ including burns, deep cuts, broken bones and other injuries all over his body .
Due to the severity of his condition, Norlin was taken to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital for more specialized treatment. Unfortunately, after arriving at the facility, Norlin succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. Doctors said the child suffered severe head trauma that had “no accidental explanation,” according to a report by Salt Lake City Fox affiliate KSTU.
The boy’s cause of death was ultimately determined to be non-accidental blunt trauma to the head, KSL reported.
Assistant County District Attorney Richard Pehrson reportedly showed jurors texts sent by Flores-Rosales about her son, saying she would leave him on the toilet until he pooped, saying ‘C’ is exhausting”.
Prosecutors also said Tuesday that Norlin was starving at the time of his death, but his mother fitted the fridge with a lock to prevent him from eating, KSL reported. They also noted that Flores-Rosales made doctor’s appointments for herself and her young child, but never received medical attention for Norlin.
DA Gill said his office plans to send a letter to the State Board of Pardons asking that Flores-Rosales be incarcerated “as long as possible.”
“This is one of the worst child abuse cases I’ve seen in nearly 28 years as a prosecutor,” he said. “We applaud the judge who handed down the consecutive sentences with tears in his eyes and said he would personally write to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole saying that Ms. Flores-Rosales should never be released from prison.”
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