BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County jury found a Wasco man guilty of attempted murder and torture for repeatedly abusing his 6-week-old son, who suffered dozens of fractures and a burn to his foot, according to court records.
The jury also convicted Jorge Millan, 23, of felony and misdemeanor child cruelty. The child’s mother, Elizabeth Jara, 22, was acquitted of attempted murder and torture but found guilty of assault and the child cruelty charges, according to the Superior Court website.
It’s the prosecution’s theory Millan inflicted the injuries and Jara, aware of the abuse, did not intervene or alert authorities. The baby had dozens of rib fractures as well as other broken bones. The rib injuries were consistent with squeezing, prosecutor Janae Knallay said.
She said the burn to the bottom of the child’s foot was likely caused by a cigarette lighter.
Sentencing is set for Nov. 17.
Millan and Jara were arrested after Jara took the baby to an urgent care facility in May 2021. Questioned about the injuries, the defendants blamed each other, according to court documents.
The child received intensive medical care and recovered.
The misdemeanor child cruelty charge was filed in connection with their then 1-year-old daughter, who lived with them and the baby in Millan’s father’s house. The home was filled with dog feces and infested by cockroaches.
The girl wasn’t physically abused, but her living conditions were so squalid they constituted child cruelty, Knallay said.
Millan’s attorney, Monica Bermudez, argued at trial the injuries were not evidence of an intent to kill. She said they were inflicted out of frustration.
Her client deserved to be found guilty of child cruelty, Bermudez told the jury, but not attempted murder and torture.
Richard Rivera, the attorney representing Jara, said there was no evidence she either injured the boy or was aware of Millan’s abuse.