10 YEARS LATER: Village of Oak Creek infant homicide case continues with new judge
Ten years later, the death of a 3-month-old boy in the Village of Oak Creek remains unresolved in the Yavapai County Superior Court system.
In February 2008, Cesar Garcia-Soto was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and two counts of child abuse in the death of his son. Since then, an additional child abuse count has been added.
Garcia-Soto is 36 years old. He has been held in the Yavapai County Jail for the past 10 years on the charges.
Presiding Judge David Mackey re-assigned the case to Judge Michael Bluff May 1, 2017, after nine years of court proceedings with various judges. Garcia-Soto was arraigned on May 1, where he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The 10-year span of the case includes delays due to an attorney who quit the case, and subsequent assingment of new representation. It has been further delayed because of defense allegations of judicial misconduct and several reassignments of judges to oversee the case.
Three weeks prior to Garcia-Soto’s 2008 arrest, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to an apartment in the Village of Oak Creek just before 9 p.m. The 3-month-old, Edwin Alejandro Garcia, was not breathing. His mother, then 21-year-old Gladis Yamileth Rodriguez Paz, was at work when she dialed 911.
The baby died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. The hospital reported he had a broken arm, several broken ribs and later a fractured skull with associated brain trauma and a fractured pelvis.
Paz was found guilty of one count of child abuse in December 2008 and sentenced to a year in prison.
Garcia-Soto was scheduled to have a pre-trial conference Tuesday, but it was vacated.