Jury finds father guilty in murder of infant - KCTV5

Jury finds father guilty in murder of infant

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HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCTV) -

Closing arguments were Friday in the trial of a man accused of killing his 4-month-old daughter.

A Cass County jury found Moreno Antonio Salinas, of Greenwood, MO, guilty of first-degree murder just before 4 p.m. Salinas showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

He was charged with plotting to murder his little girl. Prosecutors said he killed baby Avee Hunter in April 2010.

Cass County sheriff's detectives were contacted by Children's Mercy officials on April 20 to report the infant had injuries that were suspicious. Prosecutors said Avee was brought to Children's Mercy Hospital twice in just a few days because of seizures. She died April 22 as a result of her injuries.

An autopsy by the Jackson County Medical Examiner indicated that the victim sustained injuries that were consistent with shaking the baby.

They said Salinas' cousin, Allen T. Green of Kansas City, MO, admitted the two planned to kill her because he was afraid he would have to pay child support.

Prosecutors said Green said the baby's father wanted to make sure there were no clear signs of trauma so he claimed he shook the baby at her mother's house in Peculiar, MO. Green said Salinas tried everything from holding the baby by her feet and flipping her up and down, to squeezing the air out of her chest with his hands.

Avee's mother, Joanne Hunter, wept quietly at Friday's trial and afterwards talked about the day she's waited for for years.

"It's almost been three (years). It's extremely difficult. Sometimes you lose sleep over it and it's just been really hard on me and my family. I don't have my little girl so I'm just very happy with the verdict," Joanne Hunter said.

Both Salinas and Green were charged with first-degree murder.

A jury recommended Salinas be sentenced with life without parole. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 28.

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