A man convicted of felony murder in the death of his girlfriend's baby maintained his innocence as he was sentenced to life in prison.
"I never hurt anybody in my life. Only God knows that," Ramon Rodriguez Moreno said through an interpreter at his sentencing Thursday. "She was a very beautiful girl. God knows it wasn't my intention to cause that harm to her."
Rodriguez, 28, will be eligible for parole in 25 years. The sentence also covered Rodriguez's conviction on a lesser charge.
In the courtroom, a tearful Alejandra Onofre Nava, 30, stood a few feet from Rodriguez and asked why he killed her baby.
"She was so beautiful. She was not a crybaby," Onofre, 30, said to her former boyfriend, an interpreter reading her written comments aloud in Spanish and English.
"Do you remember when you asked her for an orange and she put it in your mouth?" Onofre said of Dulce Samantha Hernandez, her 20-month-old daughter, who died Aug. 1, 2006, of a fractured skull, swelling and bleeding on the brain and retinal hemorrhages.
"Never again will I be able to have her in my arms, to put her to sleep, to cradle her," the mother said. "My soul is with her."
Doctors testified during the trial that the back of Samantha's head was bashed in as though she had fallen from a fourth-story window.
Washington County Judge Marco A. Hernandez noted that Rodriguez's descriptions of what happened &
he said during the trial that he shook Samantha and pushed her onto a couch &
did not medically match the girl's injuries.
Samantha's father, Jesus Hernandez Tapia, also spoke before the sentencing. "I don't think he is going to be able to pay for what he did to my daughter," said the 36-year-old father, wiping his eyes as he asked for Rodriguez to be brought to justice.
"He will have this on his conscience for the rest of his life," he said through an interpreter.
"Here on Earth, we judge everyone. But have him ask forgiveness from God, who forgives everybody."
Information from: The Oregonian, http:www.oregonlive.com
Mother of slain baby questions convicted ex-boyfriend