John Vigil pleads guilty in scalding death of 2-year-old Elijah Archuleta
Last Updated: 68 days ago
DENVER - Prosecutors say the man who caused burns on 75 percent of a toddler's body, then let the boy die a slow, painful death has pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death.
Investigators said John Vigil scalded a 2-year-old Elijah Archuleta in a bathtub in Denver in November 2008.
Vigil and Elijah's mother, Isela Reyes-Talamantes, told police Elijah accidentally burned himself when he turned on the water at their home.
However, Reyes-Talamantes gave two different accounts of what happened afterward, police said. In one account, Reyes-Talamantes said she and her boyfriend ran errands and stopped at a restaurant before taking Elijah to the hospital when he began choking. In the other, they took the boy to the hospital shortly after he was burned.
Elijah wasn't brought to the hospital until 10 hours after he was injured, according to a probable cause statement from Denver police. The statement also said Elijah had a black eye, in addition to severe burns, when doctors saw him.
Nurses at St. Anthony Central Hospital said when they saw Elijah, he appeared cold to the touch.
Reyes-Talamantes pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death. Prosecutors said Reyes-Talamantes is serving a 20-year prison term because she failed to make any effort to seek medical care that could have saved the boy's life and she later lied to police in an effort to protect both herself and her boyfriend from prosecution.
Vigil will be sentenced in May. He faces up to 36 years in prison.
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