A Memphis man was arrested this week and faces deportation after police say he beat a four-month-old to death upon learning the child wasn’t his.
Jose Avila-Agurcia, 33, of Memphis, is facing a charge of first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse in the April 12 death of Alexander Lizondro-Chacon, who he thought was his son, the Commercial Appeal reports.
The man, identified by local authorities as Jose Agurcia-Avila, however, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement later said that name was an alias — the man’s real name is Carlos Zuniga-Aviles, and his identity was confirmed through biometrics. They said he is a Honduran national in the country illegally, and he has been removed from the country five previous times.
Through a translator, an acquaintance of the mother who was at the apartment Wednesday said she was there when the mother got the heart-wrenching news.
“She pretty much touched the kid and told her that the kid was dead, and she … became crazy,” the woman said. “(She) was crying. She never thought this could happen to her because her kid was healthy.”
Cops responded to a residence on Court Avenue and found the boy’s mother, Mercy Lizondro-Chacon, who said the infant was having trouble breathing. He was then rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead from blunt force trauma to the head, according to an affidavit of complaint.
The boy also had pneumonia, as well as a fractured skull and rib. Lizondro-Chacon and Avila-Agurcia then gave statements to investigators two days later indicating that they cared for the infant, but had no idea how he became injured, according to the affidavit.
Avila-Agurcia later emerged as a suspect in the boy’s death after Lizondro-Chacon told detectives that he admitted striking the baby several times in the head because he was enraged that he wasn’t the boy’s father, the affidavit states.
The Shelby County medical examiner has ruled the boy’s death as a homicide, WREG reports.
This is a developing story we still don’t have full information until he makes his initial court appearance on Thursday.
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