UTICA – The Utica man who killed his girlfriend’s baby was sentenced to prison time in Oneida County Court on Tuesday.
Twenty-year-old Jason Nieves was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision. Nieves was initially charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of seven-month-old Emelina Sanchez, his girlfriend’s baby, but he accepted a plea offer in April and pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
Utica police and fire departments responded to a report of an unresponsive child on Jan. 20, where they found Sanchez with faint vital signs and head injuries, and she died from her injuries just after midnight on Jan. 21. Police say Nieves caused her head injuries in response to her crying uncontrollably, but Nieves said in court that he loved the child and was trying to calm her down.
“I would hope that he would take that seriously,” said Joselina Guantero, the baby’s great-grandmother. “The way when I am speaking and glance at him once in a while, I don't see any remorse. I don't see anything that he really cares what he did.”
Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara says the charge of first-degree manslaughter was offered because they didn’t know whether a jury would convict Nieves of murder, and he said it wasn’t the name of the charge but the prison sentence that was important.