An Exeter Township man pleaded guilty in Berks County Court Thursday to killing his 11-week-old daughter.
Giovanni Gomez, 29, of the 1100 block of Fox Run, pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree murder before President Judge Thomas G. Parisi.
Gomez was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in state prison.
According to prosecutors:
On March 28, 2020, at about 4 p.m., county emergency dispatchers contacted Berks detectives to investigate a near-death incident involving an infant.
The child’s mother called 9-1-1 requesting an ambulance for her daughter. She reported her daughter was breathing but was pale, her lips were blue and she was cold to the touch.
An ambulance was dispatched to the home in the 1100 block of Fox Run, and medics immediately transported the baby to the trauma unit at Reading Hospital.
Detectives contacted Berks County Children and Youth Services and learned from a caseworker that the medical staff at the hospital performed a CAT scan on the baby that identified a brain bleed.
The baby was transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Detectives met with the caseworker and were escorted to the intensive care unit where they met with the baby’s father, Gomez.
Detectives learned the girl's mother went to work March 27 about 2:15 p.m., leaving the baby in the care of Gomez.
Gomez said he fed the baby multiple times and gave her a bath about 8 p.m. He put the baby down for the night about 10:40 p.m.
He said the baby was vomiting, but he didn’t detect any medical concerns.
The mother returned home about 11:45 p.m. and found her daughter whining in her sleep. She said this was not normal.
She believed her daughter may have had a cold.
The next morning, the baby was still whiny in her sleep and sounded congested, according to her mother.
She left the home to get medical items for the baby. When she got back, she and Gomez went to the baby’s bedroom and noticed the infant was having trouble breathing. The mother called 9-1-1.
On March 31, detectives spoke with a doctor who is a member of the child protection team at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. The doctor advised that an MRI/MRA was performed that identified a serious brain injury. Additionally, the child's spine showed damage and there was minimal blood flow to the brain.
The doctor also saw hemorrhages in both eyes and concluded they were the result of an inflicted traumatic head injury.
The baby died in the hospital April 1, 2020.
Dr. Supriya Kuruvilla, a Reading Hospital forensic pathologist, performed an autopsy the next day. She concluded the death resulted from head and spinal cord injuries due to shaken impact and blunt force trauma.
The Berks County coroner’s office ruled the death a homicide, and on June 23, 2020, Gomez was charged.
He had already been incarcerated in Berks County Prison since April 4, 2020, on unrelated criminal charges, and has remained there since.