Mother defends son arrested for child abuse - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Mother defends son arrested for child abuse

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PHOENIX -

A man is arrested after police find his girlfriend's 8-month-old daughter unresponsive with signs of burns on her body. She later died. Now, his family is coming to his defense.

Adrian Ponce is not the child's father but lived at the home at 29th Street and Greenway. Police say Ponce admitted to them that he shook the baby and caused the burns.

Friday, the suspect's mother called us and said she wanted to speak. She says believes her son is innocent and that police coerced a confession out of him.

"Investigators say there were burns on the baby the day before?"

April Cuevas, suspect's mother: "Um my son had took her to the park and came back, she was here when he left, he was gone no more than 10 minutes. He said they got into a confrontation with a guy who flicked a cigarette at the baby."

"Let me read you what was said in the report. Police said there were 8 burns on the child's face, body and hands. According to police he admitted that he caused the burn injuries on the victim, the baby, using the open flame of a cigarette lighter while the victim was strapped in a stroller. Police said he said that."

Cuevas: "Yeah that's what I heard what I don't understand if he admitted to that why didn't they take the stroller for evidence cause it's still here."

"Did she have any other health conditions?"

Cuevas: "Not that I know of."

"So there must have been some reason why she stopped breathing?"

"I would assume so yes."

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death and depending on the results it could mean more charges.

Related story: Mom's boyfriend accused of child abuse in baby's death

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