Failed To Death: Chad Munoz

8:47 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
Chad Munoz
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Age: 21 days
Born: Jan 11, 2008
Died: Feb 1, 2008
Location: Fort Collins
Suspect in death: Juan Munoz, father

His father, Juan Munoz, grabbed his mother, Charley Mercado, and caused her and - by extension - Chad to fall into a door.

When he was born Jan. 11, 2008, in Larimer County, he had alcohol in his system. His mom had been drinking.

The physical-abuse allegation against Juan Munoz was brought to the attention of Larimer County social workers four days after Chad was born.

The referral was initially assigned but later "unassigned" because no child abuse or neglect allegation had been made.

Two weeks later, on Feb. 1, Chad was dead. He had been beaten in the face and severely shaken.

A state fatality review notes that caseworkers did not run a background check on Munoz who had three prior arrests for assault.

Munoz had three prior arrests for assaults.

In 2002, he was arrested for domestic violence.

Two years later, he was arrested for ethnic intimidation, assault and menacing.

On Feb. 6, 2006, Munoz attacked his girlfriend, Crystal Benavidez, with a bat after she invited Munoz's brother for drinks. Jealous of his brother, Munoz swung the bat into her knee. She crashed to the floor, according to Larimer County District Court records. He then swung the weapon into the left side of her head, opening a bloody wound. He pummeled her in the face with his fists. He was convicted and served a jail and probation sentence.

Two complaints of abuse against another child in 2007 were determined to be unfounded by Larimer County social workers.

After Chad's death, Juan Munoz was charged with child abuse causing death and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter. He is serving a 9-year prison term.

Read Fatality Report

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