LAWRENCE — As the baby’s mother and other relatives sobbed in court, Alexis Medina, 26, yesterday pleaded guilty to murdering his 4-month-old son and namesake after Christmas three years ago.
Infant Alexis Medina Jr., who was nicknamed “Junior,” suffered multiple rib fractures and bruising. An autopsy revealed the cause of his death was suffocation.
Medina, a father of four who was previously jailed for 18 months for fracturing an older daughter’s skull, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, after pleading guilty to second-degree murder of Junior, who was born on Sept. 8, 2010.
In an agreement reached between the prosecution and defense, Medina, a former machinist, pleaded guilty to second-degree, not first-degree, murder as originally charged. A first-degree murder conviction carries a penalty of life in prison without parole.
“Obviously, this is a huge loss to you. No parent should lose a child. Terrible,” said Superior Court Judge Richard Welch to Jocelyn DeJesus, 27, the baby’s mother, who gave a victim impact statement in Lawrence Superior Court yesterday morning.
“There will always be a large piece of my heart missing for my son Junior,” DeJesus told Welch. “ ... It’s like my soul died inside. I will never get to hear him cry or laugh. We will never see him grow up.”
DeJesus sat among a dozen relatives and friends in court — many crying and sobbing loudly at times. Some wore T-shirts with Junior’s pictures on them.
Police were called to the 4 Inman St., #19 apartment Medina and DeJesus shared at 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2010. The child was nonresponsive, had no pulse and was vomiting when rescuers arrived. He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital, where a heartbeat was restored, and later transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston where he died the next day, said prosecutor Kate MacDougall