A jury on Thursday found a Gustine father not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his infant son.
Andrew Sanchez said his son, 9-month-old Maddix Ramsour, rolled off a 2-foot-tall bed and suffered the injuries, according to testimony. Judge Ronald W. Hansen declared a mistrial for the remaining counts, a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter and a second count of assault on a child.
The jury deliberated for five days and was not able to come to an agreement on the other counts, the judge said.
Sanchez’s public defender, attorney Stephanie Jamieson, reacted to the not guilty verdict for the first count.
“My reaction is pure elation. The not guilty verdict is justice,” she told the Sun-Star. “I have adamantly believed in Mr. Sanchez’s innocence of these charges from the outset of the case. This verdict vindicates him.”
Sanchez pleaded not guilty to charges in July 2015, days after he was arrested by Merced County Sheriff’s Office detectives. He was accused of killing the boy on March 5, 2015, at a home in the 30000 block of Cottonwood Road in Gustine.
I have adamantly believed in Mr. Sanchez’s innocence of these charges from the outset of the case. This verdict vindicates him.
Attorney Stephanie Jamieson, the defendant’s public defender
The prosecution can decide whether to retry Sanchez for the other charges.
“I am prepared to defend Mr. Sanchez against the remaining charges, and will do so with fervor until he finally returns home to his family,” Jamieson said.
The defense called experts, who said the baby could have died from untreated injuries from previous falls. Maddix had fallen on three other occasions but appeared fine, the baby’s mother said during the trial.
The prosecution argued Sanchez, who they said never wanted to be a father, reacted out of anger or frustration and slammed the baby. Expert witnesses for the prosecution said brain bleeding, vein tears and other injuries were too great to have come from a fall.
The baby died at Valley Children’s Hospital after undergoing brain surgery, according to testimony.
All of the evidence in the trial was circumstantial, because there were no witnesses in the room the day the baby died, according to Harold Nutt, the chief deputy district attorney.
If you asked them, the jurors would probably say we failed to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Harold Nutt, the chief deputy district attorney
“This was always going to be a difficult case,” he told the Sun-Star.
The District Attorney’s Office stands by the belief that the child’s death was a crime for which Sanchez should be held responsible.
“If you asked them, the jurors would probably say we failed to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
Sanchez had expressed frustration in two text messages to Rebecca Ramsour, Maddix’s mother, which were read in court. “I swear, he’s a bitch at least once a day,” one text said.
The child’s babysitter said he could be fussy and cry if he was not being held.
The defense also argued that his text message was part of his was of coping with frustration.
The prosecution will weigh its options before deciding whether to have a new trial on the other counts, Nutt said. The decision is due back in court at 8:30 a.m. April 27. Sanchez remains in custody at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility.
Thaddeus Miller: 209-385-2453,