LUBBOCK, Texas – Officials charged Joey Benito Ortega Jr., 24, with aggravated assault after the death of a 3-month-old child. Police were called early Monday morning to University Medical Center for a child who was about to pass away.
“CPS [Children’s Protective Services] also reported the child had a brain bleed and fractured ribs,” an arrest warrant said.
A physician told police the little boy had injuries that were not survivable, including a brain bleed and retinal hemorrhaging.
“The physician advised the retinal hemorrhaging is consistent with someone shaking the baby,” the warrant said.
Sheriff’s Deputies also responded to a home in Lubbock County near Wolfforth, where Ortega lives and had been taking care of the little boy.
Officers asked Ortega what happened.
The warrant said Ortega claimed to have left the little boy alone shortly in a bassinet Sunday night with a bottle.
The warrant said, “He [Ortega] returned to check on Benjamin and discovered him unresponsive at approximately 2249 hours [10:49 p.m.].”
“Joey [Ortega] described Benjamin was gasping for breath but he could still feel his heart beating. He stated he called his wife and called 911. He stated he administered CPR at the directions of a dispatch operator.”
But under further questioning, Ortega admitted he shook his son, the warrant said. Doctors told police the shaking was done in such a way as to be considered child abuse.
The charge filed against Ortega was aggravated assault and prosecutors requested a $500,000 bond.
Because of an ongoing situation with online court records, EverythingLubbock.com is not able to confirm if Ortega remained in the jail or if he was able to bond out. We will provide updates when possible.