The man accused of causing his infant son's death will be put on trial for the crime. A judge decided Friday there was enough evidence to send the case to trial.
Court documents indicate that Anthony Angel was arrested for the death of 5-month-old Antonio Angel because medical experts said the child's fatal injuries would have rapidly appeared at a time when he was alone with the child.
The autopsy showed severe blunt trauma to the baby’s brain, and bleeding.
According to court documents, a detective's investigation revealed that the child's injuries were acute and appeared rapidly while Angel and his son were alone. Based on that information, Angel was arrested on the charge of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.
During the investigation it was also determined that Antonio’s mother, Brandi Strawn, had been booked into the county jail on charges of felony theft by receiving and pawn broker violations.
After the judge decided to send the case to trial, Strawn told KKTV 11 News that she was standing by Angel. She said she doesn't believe he committed any child abuse, and added that she'd known him since they were 12.
According to the affidavit, Angel told the detective that he and Strawn usually spent their days taking care of Antonio and playing video games. On November 18, however, the family was out riding buses to various businesses trying to get a check cashed.
Each business refused to cash the check, and one owner told police he remembered Angel being hostile.
After failing to cash the check at several businesses, Strawn told police that Angel was "working his way up" to getting mad. She offered to continue trying to cash the check while he went home.
The affidavit says that Angel told police he laid the baby on the bed in their bedroom after returning home. He said he looked up pornography on his cell phone and then went to sleep, but woke up to the sound of Antonio gasping for breath.
Angel said he started to cry, then put on his shoes and ran from the house.
A neighbor gave Angel a ride to the Pueblo Community Health Center, where they preformed CPR on the infant. He was later taken to Parkview Medical Center and eventually to the Children's Hospital in Denver.
That neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, told 11 News that he was surprised at the allegations. He said he never saw any behavior from Angel that would indicate that he would ever hurt the baby, or even had a temper.
While he only knew him a few weeks, the neighbor says he employed him to do some work around the house, while he struggled finding a job. He described Angel as a diligent worker who was “calm, cool, and collected.” He added that the baby seemed like a happy baby, and always had “a smile on his face”.
He said on November 18 Angel came to his door in a “state of panic”, not sure why his baby couldn’t breathe. The neighbor said that Angel was genuinely concerned about the child and was “gently cradling him”.
The neighbor said that Angel came back on November 18 and thanked him for the ride to the hospital, attributing him with saving his baby’s life.
After Antonio passed away, he again thanked the neighbor for his assistance that night and said, “You are the only person in Pueblo who would help me.”
Angel told the neighbor how police were suspecting him of child abuse. Angel looked him in the eye and said, “I will never admit to hurting my son, because I didn’t do it.”
According to the affidavit, Antonio’s mother asked a hospital representative, "Do you think someone shook him?"
After a second brain death scan, Antonio was taken off of life support and declared deceased on November 20.
The affidavit requesting an arrest warrant for Angel was written on November 29 based on the fact that he and the child were alone together at the time.
Angel denied allegations of child abuse to investigators, saying “I’ve told you everything I know to the best of my ability, I did not do nothing to my son.”
Court documents also show that Angel told the investigators that the child hit his head on a bar while riding the bus. That story was verified by security footage, but medical experts from the Children's Hospital said the injuries they observed would not have been caused by that accident. The injuries, they told police, were severe trauma.
11 News also learned from the affidavit that the couple’s roommate was home at the time. She was also taking a nap, in a separate room. The documents say she told investigators she didn’t even see Anthony and Antonio leave, and was upset he didn’t wake her up to let her know something was wrong.