LIVE VIDEO: 9NEWS Evening Newscast    Watch
 

Failed to Death: Julian Lacas

9:02 PM, Nov 11, 2012   |    comments
Julian Adams Lacas
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

Age: 6 mos.
Born: July 13, 2008
Died: Feb 4, 2009
Location: Westminster
Suspect in death: Justin Taylor, father

Other than that, he didn't have many gifts during his 6-month life. While his mother, Krista Adams, was pregnant with him, she said she was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father, according to a state review of Julian's death.

Adams smoked marijuana while she was pregnant. She admits to having had a problem with methamphetamines.

Julian was born with a cleft lip and palate, which made feeding and nourishment difficult.

His father, Justin Michael Taylor, had "rage problems," Adams said, and he would get frustrated when feeding Julian. But she said, he usually directed that rage at her, not the kids.

Julian died of blunt trauma to the head and neck in February 2009 after he was left alone with Taylor. At the time, Julian's mother was job hunting with her sister.

When the two returned home, there was something wrong.

"As soon as I picked him up, he started making a really funny noise, almost like a muffled cry," Adams said. "He couldn't hold his head up, and his legs were very stiff."

No one was home when the incident happened, and Taylor offered several versions of events. He claimed Julian's 19-month-old sister dropped a book or stepped on his head. He also used an expletive to refer to Julian and said the boy had kicked him and that he accidentally dropped Julian. He later told police that perhaps the child "forcefully fell from my arms."

Prosecutors said Julian's injuries were caused by shaking or a combination of shaking and the impact of hitting the floor.

Taylor is serving a 48-year prison sentence for child abuse resulting in death.

"There were never any tears," Adams said of Taylor's reaction to Julian's death. "He actually, at points when he did speak, he tried to joke about things."

The state child fatality report notes that Adams County Human Services Department had numerous contacts with Julian's parents. Taylor had been abused by his father and threatened to kill himself and his family. Adams was described as "beyond control of her parent at age 15."

Three years before he was born, Julian's half-siblings were placed with their grandparents. Case workers found the home dirty and unsafe.

Adams contacted the Denver Department of Human Services while she was pregnant with Julian to say that Taylor beat her, but the family apparently moved before caseworkers arrived, according to the child fatality review. Five days after he was born, Denver again investigated a referral that Julian was not eating well and that his mother tested positive for marijuana at his birth. That assessment was closed because Adams was living at Joy House, which provides housing and support for women.

But Adams moved backed with Taylor, a decision she said she made in part because she had nowhere else to go and in part because "I really loved that man."

The state faulted law enforcement for not telling human services about a 2006 incident of domestic abuse - which could have been useful when Adams reported she had been beaten in 2008 - but found no actual violations of state policy.

Adams remembers saying goodbye to her child in the hospital.

"The last time I got to hold him," she recalled, tears streaking her face, "I said I wished it would have been me. I wished he would have taken my life instead of his."

Read the Fatality Review

Most Watched Videos