Today’s news:

Mom pleads guilty in infant death case

The young Elmhurst mother whose neglect and abuse of her infant son resulted in his brain death pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Kiana Paez, 24, admitted to hitting her eight-week-old son, Pablo Fernandez, and dropping him on the floor in his car seat in April 2008. She will be sentenced to 19 years in prison Oct. 22 by Judge Arthur Cooperman, the DA said.

“In light of the circumstances surrounding this case, the sentence to be imposed is appropriate,” Brown said in a statement. “The physical injuries that this innocent and helpless child suffered in just the first few weeks of his life is beyond comprehension. He, like all children, deserved the opportunity to have a full and rewarding life but, unfortunately, his mother thought otherwise. She will now have to live with what she did for the rest of her life.”

On April 3, 2008, Paez was with Pablo at her home on Xenia Street. When he began to cry, she picked him up and hit him on the left side of head with her open hand, Brown said. She then strapped the baby into a car seat and left him alone.

When Pablo’s breathing became troubled some time later, Paez tried to pick up the car seat from her bed, but it fell face down with the baby in it.

The baby began to cry and then became silent, Brown said.

Paez took her son, who was unconscious and having difficulty breathing, to Elmhurst General Hospital that night. Doctors there found Pablo had a broken leg, multiple broken ribs, a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. Some of the injuries appeared to be weeks old, the DA said.

The child was placed on life-support, but he had minimal brain activity, and on April 24, 2008, he was removed from life support after being declared brain dead.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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