A judge has sentenced a Florida man to life in prison without parole for the death of his infant boy. The 27-year-old man had reportedly stuffed a sock in his little son's mouth to keep him from crying.
On Mar. 13, Gene Anthony Quinones-Rivera pleaded no contest in Panama City, Florida, to the charge of second-degree murder and subsequently received the maximum sentence for the crime, Daily Mail reports.
"That's all that he could have gotten, so we are happy with the state attorney's office. And letting him plead and being sentenced to life," said Parker Police Department Lt. Aaron Wilson, My Pan Handle reports.
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Quinones-Rivera confessed to being responsible for the June 2015 death of his 2-month-old son, Gediaelamir Rivera. He admitted to abandoning the boy's body in a secluded area in Florida's Panhandle.
The child had been reported as missing until December 2016, when Quinones-Rivera went to the police and confessed to asphyxiating his son, Parker Police Chief Dennes Hutto said.
"I'm glad he did come forward," Hutto said, the News Herald reports. "If he hadn't, no one would have ever known what happened to this infant."
From jail, the Florida man told the newspaper he stuffed a sock into his son's mouth out of anger. He had been smoking marijuana.
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"My son was crying, and I was angry with him for that," he said. "That's the only reason I was angry with my son."
"He was crying and I put in his mouth socks and then I wrap around with two blankets. And then I go to sleep. And when I wake up, he was [dead]," Quinones-Rivera said.
It was reportedly some hours later that he discovered his son had stopped breathing. He attempted to revive the infant with CPR and a cold bath without success.
The 27-year-old and his wife, Yanoshua Ramos-Melendez, together placed the boy's body in a trash bag and buried it in a remote, wooded area in an effort to hide the death from authorities.
Quinones-Rivera stated he had gagged his son before and taped his arms to his sides.
A religious conversion was what persuaded him to confess to the killing.
"Right now I don't have fear, but I know I needed to pay for that. I can't lie no more. I need to be free," he said.
Led by a description from Quinones-Rivera, the authorities were able to find the remains of the child in secluded Bay County.
Police arrested Ramos-Melendez, the mother of the victim, in New York and charged her with aggravated manslaughter for the child's death.