By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
EVERETT — An Everett man has been charged with second-degree murder after his 2-month-old son died from what doctors called a “devastating traumatic brain injury.”
Daniel Perez Reyes suffered a brain injury that was “consistent with acceleration and deceleration of his head,” court papers said. In other words: violent shaking.
Charges were filed in Snohomish County Superior Court Friday against Brian Perez Reyes, 23.
The child was first taken to Swedish-Mill Creek medical center June 28 before being transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Daniel was blue and without a pulse, court papers said. There was no sign of brain activity and his eyes were fixed and dilated.
Perez Reyes told a doctor that it was the first time that his son stayed overnight with him.
The doctor reported hearing a relative yell at Perez Reyes: “Every time you have the baby something happens to him!”
Daniel’s mother told detectives that she had dropped him off at his father’s apartment in the 11600 block of Highway 99 while she went to work at a restaurant nearby. She said she checked on and snuggled the baby that evening and agreed to let him stay the night at the apartment because she had to return to work at 5 a.m. the next day.
Perez Reyes told detectives that he was sleeping with Daniel next to him on his bed. He moved him to a different position when the baby began to fuss around 3 a.m. and woke up at 4:30 a.m. when the baby woke up. He said he went to get a bottle and Daniel wasn’t breathing when he returned.
Perez Reyes told detectives that he tried to rouse his son by “jostling” him and the baby gasped, but again stopped breathing. He took the boy outside for air and then tried CPR, according to a police report. He then woke up his mother and they drove to the hospital.
When questioned by detectives, Perez Reyes allegedly said that he dropped the baby two to three feet from the ground after a cord became wrapped around his leg and he started to fall. He said the baby landed on his head. He called the injury an accident.
“He just fell and didn’t come back,” Perez Reyes allegedly told detectives.
Deputies were unable to find the cord the suspect described when they served a search warrant on his apartment.
The suspect later said he moved the baby at least twice. When he demonstrated the movement, it was what “most people would consider a shaking motion,” court papers said.
When a detective asked if Daniel’s head was “flopping all over,” the defendant allegedly nodded.
In the obituary, Daniel’s family said he was “a smiling, happy, smart, determined and strong child” who had been baptized in the Catholic Church.
Eric Stevick: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3446.