News stories report that Josue Daniel Palma Herrera, 32 year-old from Shafter, California was arraigned for the death of a two-year old boy. Mr. Herrera is charged with first-degree murder and is still in custody with no bail at the Kern County Jail. Mr. Herrera is accused of causing great bodily injury and the death of two year-old Guillermo Gonzalez. Guillermo passed away on Sunday, August 31, 2008 from massive head injuries at Valley Children’s Hospital of Central California in Madera. Physicians allege that the trauma is the result of intentional abuse.
Sabrina Romero, 21 years-old, is the mother of Guillermo Gonzalez. She left Guillermo with Mr. Herrera when she left for work. Mr. Herrera has a past criminal history that includes, but is not limited to, violent behavior. Investigators from the Shafter Police department are conducting the investigation into the death of this child.
Factors may be present that cause adults and their infants and children to be more at risk for abusive events. Children at risk include infants less than one year age, male infants, infants of twin or multiple births, premature infants, infants with health problems and infants that have inconsolable crying spells. Adults at risk for committing abusive acts include adults with poor coping skills, unrealistic expectations, substance abuse, former victims of abuse and adults with mental health problems. Environmental factors that usually culminate in abusive events include social isolation, dysfunctional family characteristics and socio-economic burdens. While female caregivers abuse more frequently, male caregivers abuse more severely.