CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - An appeals court has upheld a Corpus Christi man's capital murder conviction for the death of his girlfriend's toddler son.
The 13th Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas on Thursday rejected an appeal from 23-year-old J.J. Garza. Garza was convicted last year of beating 21-month-old Texas Ruiz to death.
Garza is serving life without parole for the boy's death. An autopsy showed the boy was hit in the head and torso. A Child Protective Services investigator testified at Garza's trial that agency workers suspected child abuse before the boy was killed.
Investigators say the boy's mother, Lorraine Rodriguez, called 911 to say that her son had a seizure, then hit his head. Rodriguez later confessed that she made up the story to protect her boyfriend.
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