A September jury trial is set for a 26-year-old Gustine man charged with murder in connection with the death of his 9-month-old son.
Andrew L. Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to charges in the death of Maddix Ramsour, who died of a head injury on March 5, 2015. Investigators have said the child suffered the injury at Sanchez’s home on Cottonwood Road in Gustine.
Sanchez was arrested in July 2015, about four months after the infant died. According to reports filed by Merced County sheriff’s detectives, Sanchez changed his story during the investigation. Sanchez told investigators he was changing the infant’s diaper and, when Sanchez went to retrieve more wipes, the child fell off the bed.
Doctors, including Merced County pathologist Dr. Mark Super, said the boy’s injuries were “not consistent” with that explanation.
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Sanchez, during the days and weeks that followed, provided additional details to deputies. However, in April that year, he told another person a completely different story, according to the reports written by deputies.
Deputies said “the new story” placed the blame on Sanchez’s other child, a 3-year-old girl, the reports say. Sanchez told the witness he didn’t know exactly what had happened, but said he had stepped outside for a cigarette that night and when he came back inside, the infant appeared to have been hurt, the report says.
The report goes on to say that Sanchez speculated the toddler could have pulled the infant’s hair causing “pressure on the brain” or could have hit the child with a baby bottle.
Deputies said the witness was skeptical of that explanation and noted the 3-year-old girl “could not even pick up a gallon of milk and there was no possibility she hurt Maddix,” the report says.
Sanchez appeared in court briefly Tuesday.
Harold Nutt, Merced County chief deputy district attorney, confirmed a jury trial is set for Sept. 20 before Judge Ronald. W. Hansen in Merced County Superior Court. Sanchez, who remains in custody at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility with bail set at $1 million, is due back in court Aug. 16.
Sanchez’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Jamieson, said her client expects to be cleared of the charges. “He absolutely plans to fight these allegations,” Jamieson told the Sun-Star on Tuesday. “We’re confident that once the evidence in presented at trial, it will show that he didn’t do this.”
Detective-Sgt. Chuck Hale said he was confident with the evidence gathered in the case.
“The evidence will speak for itself,” Hale said, “and the District Attorney’s Office will do a fantastic job presenting the case.”
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482