News Releases

September 29, 2016: Downey Couple Convicted of Child Abuse Leading to Infant’s Death

Contact: 
Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Today a judge found a Downey couple guilty of inflicting child abuse on their 4-month-old child, which led to the infant’s death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Raul A. Sahagun found Ashley Debra Jones, 26, guilty of second-degree murder and child abuse in a court trial. Additionally, the judge found true that the defendant inflicted great bodily injury on the victim. Also, it was found true that Jones willfully caused and permitted the child to be injured and harmed and that injury and harm resulted in death.

Jones’ co-defendant, Johnathan Lucero, 26, was found guilty of felony child abuse in the same case. The judge also found true that Lucero willfully caused and permitted the child to be injured and harmed and that injury and harm resulted in death.

Sentencing for Jones and Lucero is scheduled for Nov. 15 in Department D at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Norwalk Branch. Jones is facing 15 years to life in state prison, while Lucero faces 10 years in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Franco Baratta, who prosecuted the case, said Jones, Lucero and their 4-month-old daughter were living in an apartment they shared with Lucero’s family.

On the morning of Dec. 31, 2015, Jones found the infant unresponsive and called a family member for help, the prosecutor said. The family member called 911 and when paramedics arrived they took the child to the hospital, who was soon pronounced dead, the prosecutor added.

A day after the child’s death, Jones and Lucero were charged in connection with the incident.

According to court testimony, the 4-month-old baby was beaten. She was malnourished and had skull fractures, cerebral contusions, multiple rib fractures, a lacerated liver, bruised lungs and contusions to her diaphragm.

Case VA133291 was investigated by the Downey Police Department.