View Full Version : Marine pleads guilty in daughter's death

06-20-03, 07:37 AM
Marine pleads guilty in daughter's death

3:31 p.m., June 18, 2003

VISTA A 23-year-old Marine accused of beating his 6-month-old daughter to death cut his trial short today by pleading guilty to second- degree murder.

Lance Cpl. Santos Lombera Jr. now faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced July 22, prosecutor Bonnie Howard-Regan said after the hearing.

Jury selection had been completed, and opening statements were about to be made, when the defendant changed his plea.

Lombera was accused of beating his daughter, Alysea, on March 28 last year. She was pronounced dead that night at Tri-City Medical Center.

Alysea's mother, Diana Sermons, was out of town when the attack occurred.

But she told the North County Times later that the defendant admitted to her that he beat the girl and threw her in the air several times.

The child's head hit the headboard of a bed, Sermons said, which knocked her out.

The woman said Lombera explained that she was giving too much time to the baby, and not enough to him.

She had come home one time earlier to find Alysea's face bruised, but the defendant claimed it was an accident, Sermons told the newspaper.

After the jury was chosen, the defendant realized he didn't want Sermons or other members of the family to see autopsy photographs of the child, defense attorney Sloan Ostbye said.

Ostbye said she made a plea offer to the prosecution on her client's behalf, and a counter-proposal from Howard-Regan was accepted.




06-20-03, 11:05 AM
There are two things in law that I am dead set aganst.

One is inadmissable evidence, with the key word being evidence.

The other is plea-bargaining.

I'm familar with the arguments for and against both of them, and I've already made my choice.