The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 30, 2012

Salazar receives life sentence in Carthage baby’s death

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Carthage man was given a sentence of life in prison Monday for the murder of his 8-month-old baby after testimony by the baby’s mother that she wanted him to “pay for what he did.”

Eddie Salazar, 31, was sentenced in Jasper County Circuit Court at Joplin for the death of infant Eddie Salazar Jr. on Feb. 4, 2010. The baby’s body was thrown in Spring River while Salazar contended to authorities that intruders invaded his home and took the child.

At sentencing Monday, the child’s mother and grandmother both gave victim impact statements.

The mother, Yadira Aguilar, said Salazar “didn’t have the right to rip my baby from my arms and I want him to pay for what he did.”

She worked nights and left her two children, one from a previous relationship, with Salazar during those hours, according to trial testimony.

Salazar eventually admitted to investigators that he became frustrated with the baby because it was crying and he shook the infant and caused the baby to hit it’s head. Salazar denied that he threw the baby to the floor.

The coroner ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.