A parolee charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler nearly a decade ago was heard denying the accusation in a recorded interview with law enforcement played back for the jury during trial Thursday.
Esteban Alamo, who was 24 at the time of his arrest and is now 33 years old, is suspected of beating 1-year-old Serik Nieto, who died on Oct. 9, 2010.
Alamo was living with Nieto’s mother in Indio at the time of the toddler’s death, allegedly violating a requirement of his parole that he remain in Los Angeles County.
According to prosecutors, on Oct. 4, 2010, he babysat the toddler for four to five hours while the mother ran errands. When she returned, she found her son unresponsive with irregular breathing — and with what the criminal complaint describes as “white, foamy saliva” on his lip.
Nieto was taken to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio and later transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was pronounced brain-dead and days later died after being taken off life support.
Police interviewed Alamo when the victim was first taken to a hospital, but didn’t realize he was allegedly in violation of his parole. During the interview, prosecutors allege that Alamo claimed the toddler was injured during a fall while playing outside.
Police interviewed Alamo again at Loma Linda University Medical Center three days after the toddler was injured.
In the interview, Alamo said he did not notice anything wrong with Nieto after he came inside from playing except for a cut lip the defendant presumed was from a fall.
“I have nothing to hide,” Alamo said in the recording. “I know it looks bad, especially for me.”
Alamo also said during the interview that even though he occasionally disciplined his girlfriend’s children, he had grown fond of them.
Alamo was arrested on Oct. 14, 2010, in the Los Angeles area for the alleged parole violation. It took Riverside County coroner’s officials several months to complete an autopsy on Nieto, and charges related to his death were not filed against Alamo until February 2011.
The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday.
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