Hawthorne man charged with murder in death of 14-month-old boy

A 14-month-old boy died at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood. His mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in connection with the case
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

A Hawthorne man faced murder charges Thursday in the death of his girlfriend’s 14-month-old son, authorities said.

Julio Mejia, 44, is also charged with one count of assault on a child causing death, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Mejia and the baby’s mother, Sandra Cartegena, 42, were arrested Monday after the baby died at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood the previous night. Cartegena was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and Mejia on suspicion of murder.


The baby, identified as “Bryan C” in the criminal complaint, was allegedly killed by blunt force trauma in the Hawthorne apartment shared by Mejia, Cartegena and the baby’s 9-year-old and 14-year-old siblings.

The two older sons were taken into temporary custody by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services.

Prosecutors recommended that bail for Mejia be set at $1 million. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

The circumstances of the boy’s death remain under investigation.


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