Bakersfield man pleads no contest to manslaughter in infant son’s death

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his 3-month-old son and faces more than a decade in prison.

Daniel Simental, 35, faces 11 years in prison on the manslaughter charge, plus an additional three years and eight months on spousal abuse and false imprisonment charges filed in a separate case, according to prosecutors.

He pleaded no contest Tuesday and charges including second-degree murder and assault on a child under 8 resulting in death were dismissed.

Sentencing is scheduled Feb. 2.

The child, Peyton Simental, became unresponsive Oct. 6, 2017 at his home on La France Drive, south of Belle Terrace and west of South H Street. He was first taken to Memorial Hospital then transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he died about a week later.

An autopsy revealed bruising to the brain and bleeding in the eyes — symptoms consistent with “shaken baby syndrome,” according to court filings.

A doctor at Memorial Hospital “believed (the child) had been traumatized in some way, such as shaken or beaten in some way or another,” the documents say. 

Simental was charged following a year-long investigation.

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