Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Parents Sentenced to Forty Years in Death of Three Month Old

Amanda Deleon and Calvin Pitts

Amanda Deleon and Calvin Pitts

On June 11, 2011, Denver police were called to the home of Calvin Pitts, 28, and Amanda Deleon, 21, when their son, Sanai, 3 months old, stopped breathing. The child was taken by paramedics to Swedish Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about 40 minutes later. An examination of the child revealed that in his brief life Sanai had suffered. Specifically he had two femoral fractures in various states of healing. This is particularly disturbing bacuse it means that he had had the fractures for a while, and that his parents had basically broken his legs more than once in three months. The baby also had a fractured left wrist, a second or third-degree burn on his left thigh, and another on the bottom of his right foot, a scrape behind his right ear, a tear inside his left ear, a scab on his chin. A child abuse expert concluded that Sanai’s injuries constituted Non Accidental Trauma and Serious Bodily Injury. Both parents have prior arrests. Deleon for drugs, robbery and assault, Pitts was arrested for sexual assault, and did time for drugs.

According to the Probable Cause Statement for Pitts, he was taken into police custody and asked about Sanai’s burns. He told officers that Deleon said she had had hurt the baby’s leg two weeks earlier, and that the wet towel he had heated in the microwave for two minutes to apply to the swollen leg had caused the burns. When asked why he didn’t seek medical attention for Sanai, Pitts said he was worried about what people would think of him. Pitts also told police that two weeks earlier he had been asleep with a cigarette in his hand, when it fell on the boy’s foot, burning it. He allegedly applied ointment to the burn.

Both Pitts and Deleon were arrested and charged with felony child abuse, which was later upgraded to first-degree murder after an autopsy was conducted on Sanai’s body. Both avoided trial by pleading guilty in late June 2012, and each was sentenced by a judge to 40 years.

Slideshow: Bad Parenting

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