Fresno Women Sentenced to Prison

December 22, 2008 2:08:43 PM PST
A judge Wednesday sent a Fresno woman to prison for her involvement in the death of her son.Investigators say Angel Rubio was tortured to death.

The 23-month old died in November 2005.

Investigators believed Vanessa Elenes' boyfriend was the one who killed baby Angel Rubio.

Elenes plead guilty to harming the child ... Because she left Angel in the custody of a self described bulldog gang member.

Vanessa Elenes wiped away tears as she faced a Fresno County Judge.

Investigators said 23-month old Angel Rubio suffered bruising, burns, and branding to his head.

The baby's paternal grandmother spoke in court but did not want her face videotaped.

Carmen Rubio: "She was a very strict mother who would let the baby cry a lot. I would not interfered because she wouldn't beat the baby. But she would yell at him and treat him very, very strict."

Investigators accused the mother's boyfriend of the murder.

They said Herman Herrera was alone with Angel when he was tortured.

Herrera is serving 18-years in prison.

Elenes' parents asked the judge for leniency and blamed Herrera for their family's suffering.

Mary Luera, Defendant's Mother: "That man shouldn't have been in her life. That was her mistake right there. She loved him. She trusted in him when she shouldn't have."

The prosecutor said baby Angel died a slow and painful death.

Jon Skiles, Fresno County Prosecutor: "What eventually killed the child was a blow to the stomach hard enough rupture the intestines and that was not an immediate death."

"I know that's true for you."

The judge denied probation ... Saying Elenes needed to take responsibility for her baby's death.

She received two years in prison.

Elenes was given credit for time previously served in jail which means she will only spend a little more than a year in prison.

The defendant's mother said their daughter is very remorseful.


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