Zion mom pleads guilty to child endangerment in her baby’s death

The mother of a 5-month-old Zion baby, who was killed by a man scheduled to be sentenced this week, pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge.

Aurora Escamilla, 20, of Beach Park, was present when her baby was killed, but was not a participant in the beating, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Newman and her defense attorney, Tom Briscoe.

Under the plea deal, Escamilla was fined $1,326 in court costs.

Victor Salinas-Corona, 18, the father of the baby, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday to between 20 and 30 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in a partially negotiated plea.

Newman said Escamilla cooperated with the investigation and would have testified in the trial of Salinas-Corona if he hadn’t agreed to a plea deal.

The baby died as a result of injuries suffered during the early morning of Feb. 28, 2013.

Ayden Salinas died of “abusive head trauma,” according to autopsy reports, which officials said also cited injuries consistent with accounts that the child’s head was struck against a crib. The autopsy also noted knuckle marks from a punch to the top of the baby’s head.

Officials said Salinas-Corona, who was 17 at the time of the child’s death, had “made some admissions” to police regarding trying to stop the infant from crying.

In exchange for the guilty plea to first-degree murder, prosecutors dropped several other murder counts against him and placed a 30-year cap on his prison sentence.

Salinas-Corona is being held in Lake County Jail in lieu of a $2 million bond.

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