LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The California Supreme Court refused today to hear the case against a man convicted of two felony counts stemming from the March 2010 beating death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in Long Beach.
The state’s highest court denied a defense petition seeking review of the case against Hector Ernest Jr.
In October, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeals rejected Ernest’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support his April 2011 conviction for assault on a child causing death and child abuse.
The appellate court justices ruled that the evidence of Ernest’s guilt was “compelling” and “substantial.”
In a 21-page ruling, the appeals court panel found that Ernest “showed a consciousness of guilt by lying to the police” about having a relationship with the boy’s mother, Cameo Green, and by leaving and never returning to the hospital where the boy, Deandre, was taken.
The boy died March 20, 2010, from blunt force trauma.
During an interview with police, Ernest denied having any involvement in the boy’s death, disciplining him, having an intimate relationship with Green or living with her, according to the appellate court panel’s ruling.
Green–who testified during Ernest’s trial–pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse and was sentenced to six years in state prison.