A 38-year-old Ogden man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his live-in girlfriend's infant son.
Mel P. Gallegos entered the plea before 2nd District Judge Stanton M. Taylor, who set a sentencing date for April 8.Gallegos' Monday plea was part of a deal with prosecutors, who were prepared to try him on a charge of second-degree murder if the case went to trial as scheduled March 19-21.
The 7-month-old child, Adam Quade Anderson, was dead on arrival at McKay-Dee Hospital early Nov. 25. The baby had been taken to the hospital by Gallegos and the child's mother.
Blood found between the infant's brain and skull, plus hemorrhages in one eye, indicated the child died from "shaken baby syndrome," two doctors testified during Gallegos' Jan. 18 preliminary hearing.
Police Detective John Stubbs testified that Gallegos told him he had shaken the child to make him stop crying and that his breathing had then become progressively labored and his skin cool.
Defense attorney John Hutchison said Monday he advised his client there was a fair chance a jury might accept the murder arguments, and Gallegos could have faced a first-degree felony sentence of five years to life.
By pleading to the manslaughter charge, Gallegos faces a second-degree felony sentence of one to 15 years in prison.