ENID, Okla. — Associate District Judge Jack Hammontree followed a jury's sentencing recommendation Wednesday in a seven-day trial that ended earlier this month.
Hammontree sentenced Mirella Salas-Morales per the jury's recommendation of six months in county jail and a fine of $5,000 on a felony charge of child abuse by injury.
"The entire integrity of our trial, court system depends on jurors coming in and doing what they are supposed to do. I am going to hold you both in direct contempt and fine you $200." — Associate District Judge Jack Hammontree
Hammontree said he would give Salas-Morales credit for time served and reduce her jail costs, in excess of $20,000, to six months at a rate of $38 per day. She also was ordered to pay court costs. Salas-Morales has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold and will not be released immediately.
The seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated for about 8 hours before finding the 29-year-old woman guilty of shaking Alan Corona, who was 5 months old when he was in her care last summer.
Prior to sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Sean Hill called Corona's mother, Maria Amador, who read the court a victim impact statement she had written.
"On May 3, 2018, I had to live through a mother's nightmare because of Mirella Salas," she read to the court.
Amador told the court how scared she was driving to the hospital where her boy was being flown and not knowing if he was dead or alive. She said Corona has suffered lasting injuries and cannot use the right side of his body.
"I have never received a hug from him," she said, crying.
"I trusted you with my baby. You were supposed to protect him, but you hurt him," Amador said. "You will never know what I felt seeing the EMT carry his limp, lifeless body into the ambulance."
Hill asked the judge to not grant credit for time served for Salas-Morales because of the lasting impact upon Corona.
"The truth is, in this case, Alan Corona will be imprisoned in his body, which doesn't work fully, the rest of his life," Hill told the court. "Six months is a very, very limited amount of time for the injuries Alan sustained."
Salas-Morales' attorney Tim Gungoll told the judge his client has served three times what the jury recommended since her arrest last year.