A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to charges connected to the death of a 9-month-old child in July 2022, when he volunteered to babysit for his parents.
FOX 6 in Milwaukee reported that Antoni Cirra pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety, though an additional charge of felony bail jumping was dismissed. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8.
The station obtained the criminal complaint, which reportedly said a 9-month-old boy was admitted to the emergency department of Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric care hospital in Milwaukee, on July 7, 2022.
When the child arrived, he was not breathing on his own, was unresponsive and had injuries that were “life-threatening and highly concerning for child physical abuse.”
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When the investigators spoke to the boy’s mother, they learned Cirra assisted the mother and the child’s father with getting hired at his place of employment.
The day before the child was taken to the hospital, Cirra was off work and volunteered to watch the child while his parents were at work. That morning, he picked up the mother and father, was provided a diaper bag filled with diapers, clothes, baby wipes and formula, and drove the couple to work before returning home to care for the boy.
Court documents say Cirra picked the couple up from work at about 4:30 that afternoon and the mother noticed the child’s “breathing was abnormal,” adding that it was “labored and spaced out.”
She also saw a bruise on the inside of the child’s right arm that was not there before leaving her son with Cirra.
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The mother asked Cirra about her son’s breathing, and he said the child had just gone to sleep, according to court documents, and claimed he did not know what caused the bruise on her son’s arm.
That night, the mother attempted to interact with the 9-month-old, but he “remained lethargic and nonresponsive,” and his breathing worsened, court documents say.
Cirra allegedly told the mother she was overreacting when she indicated she wanted to take the child to a hospital.
At about 5:30 a.m. the next day, the mother noticed her son’s breathing was more like a snore, believing he was fine. But 15 minutes later, Cirra woke the mother up once he noticed the child was not breathing.
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The station reported that the complaint stated the boy’s skin was pale, lips were blue, and he was not breathing. It also notes that Cirra, “said that he made a mistake and, ‘this is my fault.’”
Detectives told Cirra the severity of the child’s condition, adding the child could die, when he “admitted to bouncing (the child) on his knee and holding (the child) above his head, but continued to deny abusing (the child),” the complaint reads.
When police interviewed Cirra on July 8, he claimed he dropped the car seat holding the child on the front porch steps. When the car seat fell, it landed on its side, he confessed, but the child was not injured and appeared to be fine.
Police said in the complaint that was the first time Cirra disclosed the fall.
After conducting an autopsy on the child, the Milwaukee Medical Examiner’s Office said the injuries are consistent with sustaining blunt force trauma to the head.
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