Unaware he was being recorded, a Gustine man on trial for the death of his 9-month son repeatedly told his ex-girlfriend that it was their 3-year-old daughter who caused the infant’s death.
The recordings, made by Mollie Garcia in cooperation with investigators, were played in court Thursday during the trial of Andrew Sanchez, who is accused of murder and child abuse in the March 2015 death of Maddix Ramsour.
Sanchez’s assertion that the 3-year-old had beaten her infant half-brother differed from the version of events he told detectives: that Maddix suffered fatal injuries when he rolled off a 2-foot-high bed during a diaper change, according to testimony heard earlier in the week. The boy died later while undergoing brain surgery.
During a series of recorded phone calls between Garcia and Sanchez in April 2015, the then 25-year-old father said he went outside to smoke a cigarette, leaving the two young children inside. He said the girl must have done something to cause the baby’s death. “That’s the only thing I could imagine,” he said in the recording.
If she can barely pick up a gallon of milk, how could she have killed him?
Mollie Garcia, in a pretext phone call with Andrew Sanchez
Garcia repeatedly said she didn’t believe him, saying the girl was too small.
“If she can barely pick up a gallon of milk, how could she have killed him?” she said in the recording.
Maddix suffered a subdural hematoma, causing bleeding in the brain so severe it was inconsistent with a short fall, according to testimony previously heard from a pediatrician. That doctor acknowledged she is not a neurosurgeon or expert on brain research.
Sanchez went on to say he told detectives a different story to protect his daughter. He also told Garcia that their daughter previously had been violent, saying a babysitter described her as “mean” and, on one occasion, the girl had hit another child with a lamp.
Garcia, who said again she did not believe him, tried to make a deal with Sanchez, according to the recording. She said she would help Sanchez “if you tell me you did it,” she said on the recording.
That’s the only thing I could imagine.
Andrew Sanchez, in a pretext phone call with Mollie Garcia
The father, however, stood by his story in the phone calls, saying he, too, found it hard to believe the daughter could hurt the baby.
According to Maddix’s mother, Rebecca Ramsour, the infant had fallen off a bed on three other occasions, according to testimony. She said the baby had seemed fine after the falls and she did not take him to a doctor. She also acknowledged that she had not taken the child to a doctor for routine visits after he turned 4 months old.
The defense has argued that those prior falls could have caused the last fall to be deadly.
If convicted, Sanchez faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole, prosecutors have said. Testimony in the case continues.