XENIA — Saul C. Chavez Sr., 23, of Beavercreek, was sentenced to seven years in prison March 31 for child endangering, a second-degree felony.
Chavez was arrested Sept. 26, 2016 after Children’s Medical Center reported that a 2-month-old infant suffered injuries consistent with child abuse. Chavez was initially facing two counts of child endangering, but took a plea deal in which he would change his plea from not guilty to guilty in exchange for one of the charges being dismissed.
Just before Chavez was handed the sentence by Greene County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Buckwalter, he expressed remorse for what he had done to his son. His comments were translated and made to the court with the assistance of Court Interpreter Bill Hargis.
“I just want to say that I’m very sorry for what happened to my son. I feel very bad,” Chavez said as he started to wipe his eyes. “I just need strength to continue on. I want my son to be good and do OK. I just want to say I’m sorry. I can’t say anymore.”
Buckwalter explained that the child suffered from retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes, and a traumatic brain injury as well as seizures, a femur fracture and feeding difficulties, among other injuries. The child also had open brain surgeries.
However, Chavez’s attorney, Jay Carter, pointed out that the child is making a recovery and asked the court to consider that.
“I truly believe he accepts responsibility for what’s occurred — he’s remorseful and he understands the gravity of what happened,” Carter said. “I’ve had conversations with the mother. She’s expressed to me that she does not request any type of incarceration … She’s pleased with the child’s progress … [Medical records] indicate that the child is on-target both developmentally and clinically. I think it’s important for the court to evaluate how the child is doing and how he will do in the future.”
Chavez is not a United States citizen. Therefore, Assistant Prosecutor Alice DeWine said that Chavez faces deportation after his prison term is served, but it would not be handled out of Greene County Common Pleas Court.
Chavez was booked in the Fairborn Jail Sept. 28. He was arraigned Sept. 29 and booked in the Greene County Jail on a $200,000 bond, where he has remained. He is eligible for 184 days of jail credit.
A child endangering charge carries a maximum potential sentence of up to eight years imprisonment in addition to a $15,000 fine. The charge also carries a mandatory post release control sentencing for three years.