GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — The man accused of killing a Cedar Park baby by placing the child’s head between his knee and the floor has accepted a plea deal of 30 years behind bars.
Jacob Salas, 34, was indicted on charges of capital murder in Jan. 2014, but pleaded guilty Thursday to lesser charges of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. He will also receive credit for the almost two years he has already spent in jail.
Department of Family and Protective Services said 11-month-old Orien Hamilton was removed from a San Antonio home on Oct. 31, 2012, after her mother tested positive for methamphetamines. Officials placed her in a foster home in San Antonio and then placed her with an aunt, Heather Hamilton, in Cedar Park on Dec. 20, 2012.
In 2013, the aunt applied to become a foster parent with Lutheran Social Services, which was required to complete a more thorough background check, the agency said. The aunt was verified as a foster parent by Lutheran on Oct. 7.
Hamilton was injured on Oct. 19, and passed away at Dell Children’s Hospital the next day.
According to Cedar Park police, Salas, the foster parent’s boyfriend, admitted to placing the child’s head between his knee and the floor causing injury to the child’s head.
CPS says the month before the child’s death, the child’s biological father alerted them that he was concerned about who was also living in the home with his daughter.
“The biological father had concerns that Jacob Salas was living in the home with his daughter and stated those concerns to the CPS case worker,” said DFPS spokesperson Julie Moody.
DFPS says the case worker followed protocol and did a background check on Salas which revealed several red flags including two family violence charges.
According to CPS the case worker responded to Heather Hamilton’s home within 24 hours of receiving the complaint and asked Hamilton if Salas was living there, but officials say she lied.