Man gets life term for fatally beating girlfriend’s baby

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EL CAJON, Calif. — A man who beat his girlfriend’s 7-month-old son to death was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in state prison.

baby abuseDavid Christopher Cruz, 24, was convicted last month of second-degree murder in the March 2011 death of Cordero Izaiah Cisneros.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, defense attorney Michael Begovich asked Judge Herbert Exarhos to act as a 13th juror and impose a penalty that would have been given with a lesser offense.

Exarhos denied the request, calling Cruz’s actions “nothing short of torture,” adding that the defendant showed “indifference and perhaps hatred toward the baby,” whom he “basically treated like a soccer ball.”

“Were I to sit as a 13th juror, I could not disagree with the findings and the verdict of the 12,” Exarhos said.

Grasso said Cruz would be eligible for parole only after he serves a full 25-year prison sentence.

Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso told jurors that Cruz beat the baby because he wouldn’t stop fussing while the defendant was watching him.

Cruz — who met the baby’s mother in January 2011 after she broke up with the child’s father — became the infant’s full-time caretaker because he was unemployed, the prosecutor said.

One day in early March 2011, the mother said the baby rolled off the bed and suffered bruises on his cheeks as she was getting ready to go to her job in the Navy, Grasso said. The bruising faded, but she noticed fresh bruises on her son’s face the next week and the week after, the prosecutor said.

About 11:30 a.m. on March 18, 2011, after the baby’s mother left for work, the defendant ran out of the couple’s apartment with the unconscious child wrapped in a towel, Grasso said.

The child was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died a few days later after being taken off life support. He had brain swelling, skull hemorrhages and a number of healing fractured ribs, Grasso said.

In a police interview, Cruz admitted slapping the baby, but said he did it because the child wouldn’t stop fussing, according to Grasso.

Begovich argued the child’s mother was responsible for her son’s death because she failed to take him to the doctor for four days after he developed a middle ear infection.

Begovich said the baby was going “downhill” when he went into cardiac arrest on March 18, 2011.

The attorney said his client admitted shaking the infant to revive him, “but shaking the baby to kill it? No.”


  • Jesus

    How can u sleep at night defending a baby killer? (I guess if ur a public defender but don’t do a great Job when handed a case like this)


    The mother should have been put in prison also for number one being a slut, two for being so stupid and not caring enough to question the bruises on her poor baby. Thank goodness he is at peace now!

  • Juror #10

    This case has bothered me from the very beginning. In Sharika Summers testimony of the day Cordero Cisneros was beaten. She testified that she left early in the morning for work before 6am but did not check on her baby before walking out the door. What mother doesn’t check on their baby? During the trail it came out that David Cruz was seen by Sharika shaking Cordero because he was fussing weeks before his death. Multiple bruises were seen on baby Cordero’s face week after week. Well after the fall off the bed. I think Sharika Summers knew that David Cruz was abusing Cordero. She knew and did nothing about it and now Cordero is dead. As a juror we were given the task to listen to the evidence and decide the facts of the case only. We found David Cruz guilty of his charges, murder in the second degree. What has bothered me was why wasn’t Sharika Summers charged with child endangerment? She knowingly left Cordero in harm’s way; she knowingly left Cordero to be beaten to death. I think she is equally responsible for Cordero’s death. Also I applaud Judge Herbert Exarhos response to act as a 13th juror and impose a penalty that would have been given with a lesser offense.
    Juror #10

  • Art

    This is bull… the mother should have been charged as well….. she's just as guilty she saw bruises on his check over and over.. lousy mother… poor child..

  • cathi

    What a man…beating on a little tiny baby. I bet your mother is proud of you. Too bad nobody beat you to death when you were 7 months, look at all the money it would have saved the tax payers. As for the so called mother..good looking out, you’re supposed to protect your child. How did you think those bruises were getting there ? You should also be rotting in prison. We may not be able to cure stupid but we can sure lock it up. RIP little baby…they can’t hurt you anymore.

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