After , 22-year-old Pedro Jones, of Southampton, was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison on March 22.
The Suffolk County district attorney's office said that Jones struck a 17-month-old he was babysitting so hard in the chest that the toddler, Roy Jones III, went into cardiac arrest. According to authorities, Jones said he punched the child to get him to calm down. Pedro Jones was not related to Roy Jones III, who was his then-girlfriend's son.
Jones was living with his then-girlfriend on the in Southampton, but Jones is not Shinnecock.
While Jones' defense attorney maintained that the victim's mother bore some repsonsibility for her son's death, Judge Hames Hudson said during the sentencing that he was offended by the suggestion that anyone other than Jones was responsible, according to the district attorney's office, which added that its investigation with Child Protective Services found no evidence to support the allegation.
According to court documents, Jones told state troopers at the time of his arrest, "I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl," and admitted to hitting Roy Jones III in the past too.
While the investigation was still ongoing, Jones was initially charged with first-degree manslaughter. He was indicted by a grand jury on charges of murder and endangering the welfare of a child days later.
The sentence of 16 years to life in prison that was handed down March 22 was expected, as it was part of a plea deal.